16th Century Ottoman Leather Pilgrims Zamzam Water Flask ‘Matara’

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16th Century Ottoman Leather Matara Zamzam Water Flask. In incredible condition, heavy stitching throughout in perfect order, the central apex hung with four twisted and knotted leather tassels. Fitted with a bone stopper, possibly later.
Ottoman Empire, Turkey, 16th century
Height 40cm
Width 19cm
Depth 13cm

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Matara leather pilgrim flasks were used for the collection of holy water pulled from the Zamzam well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. ‘The holiest location in Islam’

A metal example can be found in the Sandberg Hamin Museum, see Fulya Bodur, The Art of Turkish Metalworking, Istanbul, 1987, p.112, pl. A55.

A similar leather flask was sold at Sotheby’s, The Turkish Sale, London, 17th October 1997, lot 65.

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