The Sultan’s Seraglio
Okay. How many of you want to see naked bodies? Hmmm? Hey. Quit
shovin’. Whoa. Hey there folks. Cut it out. Wait your turn, buddy. Heh
heh. Only kidding. But the topic is close. So…do I have everyone’s
interest? May I proceed?
The Ottoman Empire. Turkey. The Koran allows a man to have four
legitimate wives and puts no limit on the amount of concubines he may
own. There is, basically, only one prerequisite. You want four wives
and seven concubines…okay. But you have to keep them in the lavish
styles they deserve. And that, my friends, is why only Sultans and
Pashas and men of that ilk possessed Harems.
The Harem was a closed-in establishment and allowed no visitors. The
inside was opulence at it’s best. Its rooms were furnished with
Chinese vases, Venetian mirrors, intricate wooden inlaid chests to
hold the Koran, elegant ceramics, cashmere divans, Persian carpets,
mother-of-pearl tables, and many incredible bejeweled artifacts made
of diamonds and rubies and emeralds.
Now I have a question. I’m going to put up a graphic for all of you
to see. Should it be of one of the naked dwellers of the Harem, or
should it be something bejeweled as it pertains to Tidbits. By a show
of hands…how many want to see the naked body? And how many want to
see jewels? Wow. I can’t believe the results. It’s
jewels…unanimously. Who woulda thunk it? Personally, I think you all
made a mistake.
Women of stature under the protectorate of their Sultans wore garments
embellished with pearls and diamonds and rubies and topazes in order
to show their wealth. Jeweled mirrors encrusted with diamonds were
designed for the ladies of the harem. The servingware was so heavily
laden with gems that the shape of the item itself was often lost
under the labyrinth of stones which caked it.
I have chosen one of these items for all of you too see. It’s too
late…may I add…to request the naked bod. Once Benjamin sets on a
path…he can not be swerved from it. I have…for you all to see …a
precious stone encrusted pitcher from Istanbul, Topkapi. I hope you
For you new readers…go to my home page…scroll down the table menu
till you get to the box that says Tidbits Graphics…and click on
Topkapi Pitcher. And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week. Benjamin Mark