The Helmet of Yavuz ‘The Grim’
Istanbul. Circa 1500. The Golden Age of the Ottoman Porte. The
name of the gate of the palace at which justice was meted out was
called–oh I am in stitches over this one folks…the gate was
called…Baba Ali. So…though no one knows who wrote The
Arabian Nights…or the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves
…we now all know from whence the name was culled. What better
place to cull the name of a thief than from the halls of justice
But I digress. We are in the midst of the reign of Selim…a
sultan with little bent for luxury or pleasure…who was called
by those who knew him…Selim The Grim. He was also nicknamed
Yavuz. I imagine it’s all somewhat similar to calling a William
by the name of Bill. Go figure these things. If William is Bill
and Robert is Bob and Charlie is Chuck…how come Benjamin is
only called Ben? It ain’t right, folks. Yavus reigned with an
iron hand and married fourteen year old Hafsa Hatun…in whose
veins streamed the blood of the great one…Genghis Khan. And
they began begatting.
The Ottoman Empire produced much beauty in the world of jewelry
and artifacts. It was a time of lavishness in the extreme.
Favored women of the Seraglio of the time wore dresses only once
and shopped for new wardrobes every year. For those of you who
think that shopping is a leisure pastime invented by modern
woman…think again. The woman of Topkapi brought shopping up to
an art level.
So now we come to our helmet. Did it truly belong to Yavuz The
Grim? Who knows? What I do know it this. Our helmet was produced
during that era in which Yavuz was born. And it represents an
example of the art and workmanship and stands as a paradigm to
the luxuriousness of the day.
And what is it made of…our helmet of the day…the ownership
which I loosely attribute to Yavuz The Grim. Well…my source
doesn’t list it. But the way I see it when I look…I see it as
gold with rubies and turquoise…and I see it as a magnificent
piece which I think Yavuz would have been very happy
with…though I much doubt he would have shown his
happiness…serious man that he was.
To see our bejeweled helmet…go to my home page…scroll down
the table menu till you get to the box that says Tidbit Graphics
…and click on helmet…and close your eyes…and smell that
wondrous perfume…and think of those times. You’re in a
Seraglio …and an evening of pleasure awaits you. Ahhhh…nice.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.