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Tent panel of a dragon slayer

Tent panel of a dragon slayer

1550-1599

Velvet, cut, voided, brocaded, and pile-warp substitution: silk and gilt-metal strips

Overall: 69.9 x 54.6 cm (27 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1948.205

Description

This velvet medallion decorated the interior of an imperial tent, possibly donated by Shah Tahmasp to an Ottoman Turkish sultan. Captured after the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683, the medallion was claimed as war booty by the European commander-in-chief Prince Sanguszko of Poland by whose name this and other panels are known. Here, a dragon slayer dressed in 16th-century court attire is poised to hurl a boulder at a snarling dragon in a landscape with blossoming fruit trees and perched fowl. Originally the ivory ground was covered with costly gilt-metal strips, which may have been removed for their monetary value.

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