Date: 19th century
Geography: Attributed to Turkey
Medium: Linen; embroidered in silk, metal thread, and tinsel
Dimensions: 52 in. high 28.00 in. wide (132.1 cm high 71.1 cm wide)
Credit Line: Bequest of Richard B. Seager, 1926
Accession Number: 26.34.65
Part health club, part community center, hammams are not only places to get clean, they are also places of significant social interaction. Social standing could be conveyed through the clothing and adornments worn in the hammam. A number of surviving Ottoman-period towels show that bath accessories, too, relayed subtle messages about the owner’s wealth. Intricate embroidery, sometimes in precious metal threads, conspicuously displayed the status of a bather’s family.