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Turban Collection

"The Turban: A Timeless Symbol of Culture, Power

Background imageTurban Collection: Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665-6 (oil on canvas)

Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665-6 (oil on canvas)
XOS1109249 Girl with a Pearl Earring, c.1665-6 (oil on canvas) by Vermeer, Jan (Johannes) (1632-75); 44.5x39 cm; Mauritshuis, The Hague

Background imageTurban Collection: Lady Outside Gucci Shop

Lady Outside Gucci Shop
A smartly-dressed lady in turban, pearls and gloves, leaves the Gucci shop in Bond Street to step into her waiting Rolls Royce parked outside

Background imageTurban Collection: Sikh Soldier Ww1

Sikh Soldier Ww1
A Sikh officer from India, fighting with the Allies in World War One

Background imageTurban Collection: The Three Kings (pencil and w/c on paper)

The Three Kings (pencil and w/c on paper)
CH136642 The Three Kings (pencil and w/c on paper) by Hey, Paul (1867-1952); 41.8x31 cm; Private Collection; Photo © Christie's Images; © Estate of Paul Hey. All rights reserved 2022

Background imageTurban Collection: Two Sikh Princes of the Punjab, 20th July 1918 (b / w photo)

Two Sikh Princes of the Punjab, 20th July 1918 (b / w photo)
PNP314563 Two Sikh Princes of the Punjab, 20th July 1918 (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageTurban Collection: Nasreddin - Seljuq satirist

Nasreddin - Seljuq satirist
Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja or Mullah Nasreddin Hooja or Mullah Nasruddin (1208-1284) was a Seljuq satirist, born in Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskisehir Province, Turkey

Background imageTurban Collection: WW2 poster, The British Commonwealth of Nations Together

WW2 poster, The British Commonwealth of Nations Together. 1941

Background imageTurban Collection: King George V Silver Jubilee celebrations, ILN cover, 1935

King George V Silver Jubilee celebrations, ILN cover, 1935
Soldiers from across the British Empire gather to adore the crown, resplendent on a garlanded pedestal, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of King George V.St Pauls Cathedral can be

Background imageTurban Collection: LA TOUR: FORTUNE TELLER. Georges de La Tour: The Fortune Teller. Canvas, c1630

LA TOUR: FORTUNE TELLER. Georges de La Tour: The Fortune Teller. Canvas, c1630

Background imageTurban Collection: Taking tea in the Harem. Creator: Ernst, Rudolf (1854-1932)

Taking tea in the Harem. Creator: Ernst, Rudolf (1854-1932)
Taking tea in the Harem. Private Collection

Background imageTurban Collection: Barburdar, punkah wallah or fan bearer

Barburdar, punkah wallah or fan bearer.. handcolored copperplate engraving by an unknown artist from Asiatic Costumes, Ackermann, London, 1828

Background imageTurban Collection: Duleep Singh (1838-93) (litho)

Duleep Singh (1838-93) (litho)
KW245936 Duleep Singh (1838-93) (litho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: the last Maharaja during the Sikh Raj of Punjab; son of Ranjit Singh (1780-1839)

Background imageTurban Collection: French revolutionary politician Jean-Paul Marat, fatally stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday

French revolutionary politician Jean-Paul Marat, fatally stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday, 13 July 1793
DAVID: THE DEATH OF MARAT. French revolutionary politician Jean-Paul Marat, fatally stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday, 13 July 1793. Oil on canvas, 1793, by Jacques Louis David

Background imageTurban Collection: LA TOUR: THE CHEAT, c1625. Georges de La Tour: The Cheat. Canvas, c1625

LA TOUR: THE CHEAT, c1625. Georges de La Tour: The Cheat. Canvas, c1625

Background imageTurban Collection: Sir Richard Burton in India, 1800s

Sir Richard Burton in India, 1800s
British explorer Richard Burton in native Indian dress, 1848. Hand-colored half tone reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageTurban Collection: Arabs fighting tigers in the desert

Arabs fighting tigers in the desert
Tigers attacking an Arab caravan in the desert. Color lithograph reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageTurban Collection: Bhupinder Singh, Maharajah of Patiala playing cricket

Bhupinder Singh, Maharajah of Patiala playing cricket
Maharajah Bhupinder Singh of Patiala (1891 - 1938) playing cricket. Perhaps best known for his extravagance, the Maharajah nevertheless worked for the betterment of social conditions within his

Background imageTurban Collection: Star and Stargazer 1926

Star and Stargazer 1926
THE STAR AND THE STAR-GAZER An actress in her dressing room receives a friendly visit from a lover of the theatre

Background imageTurban Collection: Shell Fountain / Costume

Shell Fountain / Costume
Tunic dress by Paquin: draped tango skirt with front split & train, translucent flared tunic & pearl adorned corsage, toque / turban with feather trim

Background imageTurban Collection: Lord Kitchener making a presentation to an Indian trooper

Lord Kitchener making a presentation to an Indian trooper
Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, (1850 - 1916), a British Field Marshal, diplomat, and statesman, hands a colonial Indian cavalry soldier a medal

Background imageTurban Collection: Bet Medhane Alem (Saviour of the World), Lalibela, Ethiopia, Africa

Bet Medhane Alem (Saviour of the World), Lalibela, Ethiopia, Africa

Background imageTurban Collection: Rasselas and Imlac digging a tunnel

Rasselas and Imlac digging a tunnel
Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, together with his companion, the wise man Imlac, digging a tunnel in order to escape the Happy Valley and see what life is like beyond it

Background imageTurban Collection: Lance Corporal of Ludhiana Sikhs

Lance Corporal of Ludhiana Sikhs
Lance-Naik (Lance Corporal) of the Ludhiana Sikhs. Painting by Malcolm Greensmith

Background imageTurban Collection: Sayajirao III Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda

Sayajirao III Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda
Sayajirao III Gaekwad (Shrimant Gopalrao Gaekwad) (1863-1939) The Maharaja of Baroda from 1875 to 1939, and a notable reformer

Background imageTurban Collection: In Praise of the British Empire

In Praise of the British Empire - Physical representations of the British territories of Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia give thanks to King George V

Background imageTurban Collection: India, Punjab, Amritsar, a sikh pilgrim carrying a barcha spear at the Golden Temple

India, Punjab, Amritsar, a sikh pilgrim carrying a barcha spear at the Golden Temple - the holiest shrine of Sikhism

Background imageTurban Collection: Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, Indian ruler

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, Indian ruler
Bhupinder Singh (1891-1938), ruling Maharaja of the state of Patiala from 1900 to 1938. He is perhaps the most famous Maharaja of Patiala, best known for his extravagance, and for being a cricketer

Background imageTurban Collection: Three Sikh men, India

Three Sikh men, India. Date: 1843

Background imageTurban Collection: Of the Imperial Cadet Corps, 1903. Artist: Mortimer L Menpes

Of the Imperial Cadet Corps, 1903. Artist: Mortimer L Menpes
Of the Imperial Cadet Corps, 1903. From The Durbar, by Mortimer Menpes. Text by Dorothy Menpes. [Adam and Charles Black, London, 1903]

Background imageTurban Collection: Girl with a Pearl Earring, c1665. Artist: Jan Vermeer

Girl with a Pearl Earring, c1665. Artist: Jan Vermeer
Girl with a Pearl Earring, c1665. The girls headdress has an exotic effect. Turbans were a popular fashionable accessory in Europe as early as the 15th century

Background imageTurban Collection: Mount Lebanese man wearing turban, cloak, carrying a spear

Mount Lebanese man wearing turban, cloak, carrying a spear.. Handcolored woodcut from Auguste Wahlens Manners, Customs and Costumes of all the People of the World, Brussels, 1845

Background imageTurban Collection: Sultan Murad IV Ghazi - ruler of the Ottoman Turks

Sultan Murad IV Ghazi - ruler of the Ottoman Turks
Murad IV Ghazi (1612 February 9, 1640) - Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640 - known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his method in doing so

Background imageTurban Collection: Sultan Osman II - ruler of the Ottoman Turks

Sultan Osman II - ruler of the Ottoman Turks
Sultan Osman II or Othman II (commonly known as Genc Osman, meaning Osman the Young) (1604-1622) - Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1618 until his death on 20 May 1622. Date: circa 1620

Background imageTurban Collection: ARABIAN NIGHTS. Scheherazade amusing the Sultan Schahriah and prolonging her life with the tales

ARABIAN NIGHTS. Scheherazade amusing the Sultan Schahriah and prolonging her life with the tales for a thousand and one nights. Colored engraving, 19th century

Background imageTurban Collection: The Prince of Wales with the Maharajah of Gwalior during his Indian tour, 1921

The Prince of Wales with the Maharajah of Gwalior during his Indian tour, 1921. The future King Edward VIII and his host ride in the howdah of a decorated elephant

Background imageTurban Collection: Turkish Barber at Thessaloniki, Greece

Turkish Barber at Thessaloniki, Greece. Date: circa 1907

Background imageTurban Collection: A Good Samaritan - Indian Soldier - WWI

A Good Samaritan - Indian Soldier - WWI
A Good Samaritan - Colonial Indian Soldier from Delhi aids a wounded French trooper - WWI. He leads him to the safety of the Allied lines on the back of a Donkey Date: circa 1917

Background imageTurban Collection: RUDOLPH VALENTINO (1895-1926). American (Italian-born) film actor. With his wife

RUDOLPH VALENTINO (1895-1926). American (Italian-born) film actor. With his wife, the actress and costume designer Natacha Rambova (n© e Winifred Shaughnessy), in the 1920s

Background imageTurban Collection: Armenian girl and Syrian men

Armenian girl and Syrian men
Armenian girl, Druze man, and a man from Damascus. Antique hand-colored print

Background imageTurban Collection: People of Lebanon

People of Lebanon
Maronite of Lebanon (left), armed Zeibek, and Christian Lebanese woman. Antique hand-colored print

Background imageTurban Collection: Stilt fishermen at Welligama

Stilt fishermen at Welligama, south coast, Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean, Asia

Background imageTurban Collection: The Chess Game, 1896 (oil on panel)

The Chess Game, 1896 (oil on panel)
989236 The Chess Game, 1896 (oil on panel) by Deutsch, Ludwig (1855-1935); 55x41.6 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: The Chess Game. Ludwig Deutsch (1855-1935). Oil on panel. Signed and dated 1896

Background imageTurban Collection: Soldiers of the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, illustration for Armies of India

Soldiers of the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, illustration for Armies of India
NAM310792 Soldiers of the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, illustration for Armies of India by Major G.F. MacMunn, published in 1911, 1908 (w/c on paper) by Lovett

Background imageTurban Collection: Ghaus al- Azam, Abdul Qadir Ghilani of Baghdad, c. 1800

Ghaus al- Azam, Abdul Qadir Ghilani of Baghdad, c. 1800
1196789 Ghaus al- Azam, Abdul Qadir Ghilani of Baghdad, c. 1800 (gouache with gold paint on paper) by Indian School, (18th century); 25x16 cm; Private Collection; Photo eChristies Images; Indian

Background imageTurban Collection: Dancing Dervishes, Folio from a Divan of Hafiz, ca. 1480. Creator: Bihzad

Dancing Dervishes, Folio from a Divan of Hafiz, ca. 1480. Creator: Bihzad
Dancing Dervishes, Folio from a Divan of Hafiz, ca. 1480

Background imageTurban Collection: Jahangir and his Father, Akbar, Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, verso: ca

Jahangir and his Father, Akbar, Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, verso: ca. 1630; recto: ca.1540-50

Background imageTurban Collection: William Edward Dighton (1822-1853) in Middle Eastern Dress, ca. 1852-53. Creator

William Edward Dighton (1822-1853) in Middle Eastern Dress, ca. 1852-53. Creator
William Edward Dighton (1822-1853) in Middle Eastern Dress, ca. 1852-53

Background imageTurban Collection: Bali seashell gleaner, Kuta

Bali seashell gleaner, Kuta
Bali seashell gleaner. Silhouette of woman with head scarf bending over to gather shells in the shallow seawater near Kuta Date: 1989



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"The Turban: A Timeless Symbol of Culture, Power, and Identity" From the enigmatic gaze of Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" to the elegant lady standing outside a Gucci shop, the turban has adorned heads throughout history, transcending time and cultures. In 1665-6, Vermeer immortalized the allure of a young woman wearing a turban in his iconic painting. The turban became synonymous with mystery and femininity. During King George V's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1935, an ILN cover showcased the grandeur of this headpiece as it graced royal heads across nations. It symbolized regality and honor. The canvas by Georges de La Tour displayed a fortune teller donning a turban in 1630. This portrayal highlighted its association with mysticism and divination. Even on battlefields like World War I, Sikh soldiers proudly wore turbans as part of their religious identity while fearlessly fighting for their countries' freedom. Centuries before them, Nasreddin - Seljuq satirist - used humor to challenge societal norms while sporting his distinctive turban. Duleep Singh's lithograph depicted him wearing a majestic turban that represented his heritage as the last Maharaja of Punjab amidst British colonial rule. Jean-Paul Marat met his tragic end at the hands of Charlotte Corday; however, even in death, he was portrayed wearing his signature red cap-turban combo—a symbol of revolutionary fervor during France’s tumultuous times. In World War II posters promoting unity within The British Commonwealth Nations Together campaign featured diverse individuals united under one cause—turbans representing solidarity amid adversity. Barburdar or punkah wallahs were indispensable figures in Indian households who kept inhabitants cool using hand fans—an essential accessory often accompanied by turbans that added elegance to their role.