Monthly Archives: March 2021

Ottoman Sultan V. Murad’s daughter Hatice Sultan’s silver crown

By Nuray Bilgili


I wanted to examine this crown from a mythological and iconic perspective. A bird spreads its wings in front of the crown and two bird figures are placed on the left. These three bird figures are connected with palm branches and motifs.
Bird symbolism is used in Turkish culture and mythology, especially symbolizing the Goddess Umay (Altay Mythology) and the Goddess Bear (Yakut Mythology). Both are disguised as water birds, which are female archetypes. Turkish Eagles are the water bird figure that signifies a Kut symbol, which connects human beings with the heavens.
The mythical Huma bird appears as the Goddess Mother Umay, a fertility goddess who resembles the earth-mother. Ancient Turkish Mythology portrays the Huma bird as one who protects the State and the Authority. In the Ottoman tradition, the source of the structure called Humayun is also related to the ′′State Bird. ′′
In Turkish symbolism, birds of prey are symbols of Oghuz Turkish Heights. Myths from bird to derivation are seen in Shaman rumors. The Mother of the Shamans is known as the Eagle. In this case, ′′ Oghuz Ongun Birds ′′ are ′′ Female Birds ,” which are related to the Mother Goddess cult.
In Turkish mythology and symbolism, birds on a crown are female archetypes, which belong to a lady, Mother Umay carries a breeze. The essence of birds are the source of these concepts in the ancient Turkish Mythology.

Henri Edmond Becker Comb 1902

Henri Edmond Becker 1902

From the Robert Zehil Gallery in Monaco

“Twenty years ago on December 2, 1997, I was visiting the Drouot salerooms in Paris when 1 noticed this superb comb in a display cabinet and coming up for auction the next day. Though it bore Becker’s monogram the auction catalog described it as being anonymous with an estimate of 2,000 francs (about $350).

The next day I showed up and stood by the door as I just wanted to buy it and walk away. When the lot came up it was about to be sold to me at 3,000 francs when a little old lady in the third row rose her hand and wouldn’t let go until I finally bought it for about $5,000. I was about to depart having been given a receipt to retrieve the item when I noticed the old lady get up, slowly put her coat on and walk towards to exit door her face filled with sadness. A hundred thoughts went through my mind: She is Becker’s daughter, or relative or may be she is buying for a museum. Feeling terrible about it I decided to offer it to her as a gift. We do donate to museums. Why not to this poor old lady ?

As she passed by me I interpellated her and told her I was the person who bought the comb. She looked at me with tears in her eyes.
I asked her :
– Are you a relative of the artist?
– No
– Were you bidding on behalf of a museum ?
– No
– But you knew who designed that comb ?
– No
– Then why did you bid it up that high ?
– I wanted it so badly
– Why didn’t you go to the Louvre des Antiquaires (a mall for antiques) ? They have lots of beautiful combs at a tenth of that price.
– You don’t understand. I wanted that one in particular. I thought that by shaving its teeth and drilling it at the top it would make a beautiful pendant.

I nearly strangled her and had I done so every dealer in the world would have approved. The good side to the story is that one more time a dealer managed to save an artwork from total destruction.”