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Illustrations of Ottomans circa 1809 from
Stratford Canning's Pictures of Turkey
The Sultan riding out in procession to Friday Prayers

A larger image of The Sultan riding out in procession to Friday Prayers. Stratford Canning's Pictures of Turkey.

Physical description: The Sultan on horseback, surrounded by his retainers on foot, coming out of the doorway to the Palace.
Object: Watercolour
Place of origin: Istanbul, Turkey (Painted)
Date: about 1809 (Painted)
Artist/Maker: Anonymous Greek artist (Painter)
Marks and inscriptions: Numbered 101
Dimensions: Height: 21.6 cm, Width: 35.5 cm

Every Friday the Sultan would ride out in procession through the streets of Istanbul, accompanied by his escort of guards on foot. He attended Friday prayers in an Imperial mosque, the day that the hutbe or sermon was preached. Here Sultan Mahmud II (born 1784, ruled 1808-39), is seen emerging from the gate of his palace, Topkapi Sarayi, nearly hidden by his guards [Solak] with their elaborate ostrich-feather headdresses, and other officers of the guards and his officials.
Victoria and Albert Museum. Museum number: D.88-1895

This procession is described in the Travels of Ali Bey: "On each side of the Sultan were four officers, who may be called the skreens of the Sultan, on account of the immense plumage they wore upon their heads, which so hides the person of his highness, that it is difficult to obtain a sight of him."

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