Antique 18th Century Islamic Turkish Ottoman Empire Armenian Enameled Tombak Ewer

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Antique 18th century Ottoman Armenian enameled gilt copper (Tombak) ewer from eastern Turkey, probably, Vilâyet-i Diyarbakir Vilayet of Diyâr-ı Bek. The modern name Diyarbakır means the Land of Bakir and derives from the Armenian name Diyarbakır - Tigranakert, Տիգրանակերտ.

The ewer is hand-hammered from several elements composed together, including a rounded body resting on a short, splayed foot. Decorated with cast copper circular bosses stamped with a wheel of fortune design, a slightly waisted neck adorned with two enameled roundels, a slender curving spout, and an applied strap handle.

The body is decorated with fish-scale motifs regularly interrupted by ribs with reciprocal design and applied with twelve circular bosses set with enamels.

All Tombak objects made by Turkish Muslim craftsmen are not decorated with this thick champleve enamel. Only Tombak objects made by Armenian craftsmen are decorated with this type of enamel.
This technique has been known to Armenian craftsmen for centuries. They were famous for their skills throughout the Ottoman Empire, including Istanbul, Anatolia, and Syria, as artisans specializing in enamel work, goldsmiths, silversmiths, and copper works.


A similar Ottoman enameled Armenian Tombak ewer is published in the catalog of one of the most reputable European auction houses specializing in fine antiques and art, "Capitolium Art Auction House" in Italy, "FINE CHINESE, ISLAMIC & ASIAN ART June 15, 2017. LOT 0446. Sold for 4,600 euros + 27% Buyer’s Premium = 5,612 euros.

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The buyer will be provided with copies of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.


Height: 27 cm (10.63 inches)

Width: handle to spout: 20 cm (7.87 inches)

Weight: 1.101 kg

CONDITION: Showing age and use, worn gold gilding, some old repairs by soldering, mostly on the joining of the base of the ewer with foot.

Item Details

Reference #:
Antiques (approx100yrs)
18th century
(Width x Height X Depth)
x x
enameled gilt copper Tombak