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Illustrations of Ottomans, Late 18th to early 19th century

Fenerci Mehmed Albumu
Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi (Topkapi Palace Museum) Ms. Ahmed III 3690


Peyk, a Persian word, means retinue, messenger who brings news, and one who walks around. In the travels of the sultan, the leading pedestrian is a Peyk. They served as postmen and guards in the 16-17th centuries, in the following centuries they became a ceremonial company with their magnificent dress and crests at the head of processions. These people were from the class of foot postmen and were known for their good running. There would be thirty in ceremonies and twelve in private rides. The head of them was called peykbaşı. They wore a gilded helmet adorned with precious stones and a black crest. They are [usually] depicted with halberds in their hands.
source: Osmanlı kıyafet albümleri (1770-1810) by Nurdan Küçükhasköylü

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