- Jul 2013
I was interested to read that the painted panel of a cassone called the ’Conquest of Trebizond’ does not represent an imagined final battle between Ottomans on the left and Trebizondians on the right (there was no battle before the capture of Trebizond), but, instead it is a battle between Ottomans on the left (near the image of Constantinople) and Timurids or Turkmen on the right (near Trebizond).
None of the Ottomans seem to wear the ak börk sleeve cap typical of Janissaries, see a woodcut of The Battle of Zonchio (Navarino), 1499 and many latter illustrations of Ottomans, but there is also the kuka worn by senior janissary officers and solaks:
Çeverbaşı. Colonel of the Janissaries. Distinctive high white head-dress (kuka) with gold brim and very large plume (süpürge sorguçlu) at top and a smaller plume in a holder.
Solak. Wears the distinctive high white head-dress (kuka) with gold brim and very large fan-shaped plume (süpürge sorguçlu). Two smaller plumes in a holder.
From Hans Sloan's Album, "The Habits of the Grand Signor's Court", SL.5258, Turkey, c.1620
A Turkish Janissary, c. 1480, by Gentile Bellini gives a 15th century European impression of the kuka. See also an Ottoman painting in Khusrau and Shirin, A.H. 904, (1498–99AD) where one rider has a tall white hat with gold rim.
On the cassone a mounted figure & infantryman to left of centre both have white caps that fold over at the top. Although one hat is gold, both hats of two warriors on the far left seem to have a slight folding over of the tip of their hats. A mounted figure on the left wears a pointed white cap with plume.
The gold coloured hats may be based on Peiks. In a painting of the siege of Rhodes Peiks marching before the Sultan wear a thimble-shaped tall cap called a külâh-i peyk, Solaks are beside the Sultan. The külâh-i peyk was often made of brass.
A detail of the left of the ’Conquest of Trebizond’ Cassone.
A detail of the centre of the ’Conquest of Trebizond’ Cassone.
A detail of the right of the ’Conquest of Trebizond’ Cassone.
A painted panel of a cassone called the ’Conquest of Trebizond’
15th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers