AN OTTOMAN DECORATIVE PENDANT, TOP ASKI
Ottoman North Africa, 19th century
The ostrich egg with painted pictures inside three cartouches, of a mountainous seashore with a town and two sailing ships, a castle over a town with a minaret, and a tower next to a dome, on the top and underside the egg are tassels of wool and gold thread.
H. 15.5 cm (egg)
The Top Aski originally is a symbol of the power of the Sultan and hung in prominent places, in domes, over thrones and over tombs. Top Aski’s are spherical ornaments hanging on a chain and made of various materials such as gold, silver, emerald, cristal, porcelain, cocnuts and quite often of oistrich eggs (see: Istanbul, de Stad en de Sultan, Ernst W. Veen ed.,pg. 54-56, Topkapi Palace Museum, inv. no. 8/314 and 8/588).
The depictions on the present Top Aski probably are of a North African coastal- and townscapes