Ottoman Floor Spread (sofra bezi)
This circular sofra bezi, or floor spread, is decorated with bouquets of flowers and European-style bows. The centre of the textile is marked by a single blossoming flower, from which four bouquets extend. The remaining space consists of two concentric bands, each filled with evenly spaced bouquets positioned in a clockwise direction. Between the bands are thin chains of single flowers with bows, the outer two running clockwise and the innermost counter-clockwise.
Sofras were traditionally rectangular in shape and used in urban Ottoman households as a dining space on the floor. Trays and stands could then be placed on top for serving food. Circular varieties, sofra bezi, like this example became more commonly used by the mid-late eighteenth century.
Click here for a similar example from the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, Digital Encyclopaedia of Decorative Needlework. See also Mackie, p. 335, fig. 8.53.
Literature: Mackie, L. Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th-21st century, Cleveland Museum of Art, 2015.