This sideboard is inspired by the tortoiseshell and mother of pearl inlaid calligrapher’s pen box from Ottoman Turkey, dating back to the 17th century. Its overall shape influenced the sideboards form and its sliding lid and compartments inspired the multiple door panels.
The sideboards doors are stepped and handle free, reminiscent of the playful boxes of that era where concealed elements twisted and turned popped open the lid and hidden compartments.
This sideboard is made of walnut wood, Macassar ebony, and has a mother of pearl inlay panel trimmed in antique brass inspired by the pen box decoration.
DIMENSIONSW 185CM, D 60CM, H 78CM
WALNUT WOOD WITH ESPRESSO FINISH, MACASSAR EBONY,
ANTIQUE BRASS, AND MOTHER OF PEARL INLAY
THE TALE OF
The Calligrapher’s Pen Box
TURKEY, 17TH CENTURY
This Ottoman Tortoiseshell and Mother-of-Pearl Inlaid Calligrapher's Pen Box from 17th Century, Turkey is one the artifacts that resonated with me and inspired my ‘Shadows and Patterns’ furniture collection. These type of boxes belonged to an elite group as well as revered calligraphers. They reflect the status of the owner as well as pay tribute to the writing tool and the act of Arabic (Islamic) calligraphy itself.
The development of Islamic calligraphy is strongly tied to the Qur'an; chapters and excerpts from the Qur'an are a common and almost universal text upon which Islamic calligraphy is based. Deep religious association with the Qur'an, as well as suspicion of figurative art as idolatrous, has led calligraphy to become one of the major forms of artistic expression in Islamic cultures.