Join Date: Jun 2013
What is Tombak?
Owing to economic constraints, fewer objects were made of gold and silver in the 18th century and this led to an increase in the manufacture of tombak wares. Brass and copper wares gilded in this way are called "tombak".
The earliest examples of Ottoman metalworking are military equipment. Mamluk influence is apparent in 15th-century forms and styles of decoration. The style called "Classical Ottoman" takes shape during the early 16th century. Of special importance during the 16th and 17th centuries are harmoniously-proportioned candlesticks that have austerely-styled forms and are lacking in embellishment but contemporary with them are interesting examples of works whose surfaces are entirely covered with rumi-palmette compositions, braided friezes, delicate saz leaves, and floral motifs.
Not infrequently one comes across copper pieces that have been stamped with seals or are inscribed. Military equipment such as helmets, chamfrons, and shields manufactured at the Topkapi Sarayi armory were stamped with a seal resembling the brand of the Kayl clan, of which the Ottomans were originally a member. Pots and pans used in the great kitchens of the Ottoman palace frequently contain inscriptions indicating who they belong to. Objects bequeathed to mosques and tombs also bear mostly tughra-like dedicatory inscriptions. Some gilded wares are stamped with a seal indicating that they are only tombak so as to avoid any possibility of deception.