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The Rålamb Costume Book
A Digital Presentation
a manuscript in the Royal Library

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Full Alphabetical Index

On the Manuscript

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Rålamb Costume Book

"Lord High Chamberlain"
"Chiaus Passi"

Commander of the çavus corps, which was responsible for discipline and protocol in the Imperial Council, and also served on embassies and as couriers. His sign of dignity is the
buzdygan, a mace.
"The Emperor"
"Imperatore" - Padishah
The 18-year-old Sultan Mehmed IV on his throne attended by a black eunuch and two pages. On his turban he carries two turned-down heron's aigrettes, sorguç. Rålamb describes him in precisely this attitude and with little flattering words.
Sword-bearer to the Sultan
"Silichtar aga. Leibknecht"
The Silahtar aga had charge of the Sultan's personal arms and commanded his personal attendants. He wears the janissary headdress börk.
Standard bearer
"Keisarens Vexillifer"
The Turkish title is Bayrakdar.

"The Queen"
"La Regine".
Hasseki Sultan, the Sultan's favourite wife who had born him a son.
Turkish woman
Woman in bathing pattens
Turkish woman
Court-lady smoking a pipe
"donna - Keis(erliche) dame"
Woman with a vase and goblet
"Turka sentata (i.e. seduta)"
"He who has false weights"

"Den som har falsk wicht"
Punishment for dishonest traders.

He carries fruits to the Vizir
"förärar frucht åt viziren"
On the tray also vases with roses and tulips of the slender species wich was popular at the time.
"He carries food to the people of the Serail"
"bär mat åth folket i Seraglien"

Ayran - seller (?)

"Sellier sur miölk" - 'Selling sour milk'

Soldier carrying the head of a slain enemy to the vizir
"De som bära hufvuden till viziren af dem som de i kriget hafver ihiälslagit"


The instrument was probably used for impaling.

"Carries water in the Diwan"

"Bär watn i divanen"

"Baltagi delli desme"
The "wood-cutters" (baltici) were used for road-keeping but also as a palace guard. This figure looks rather more like a Water-carrier, sakkâ.
Water containers with taps are hanging on the horizontal beam. There is a similar scene in the album published by Taeschner.

Armenian woman

"Femme Armenienne"

The hunters, Avcus, formed a special detachment within the army.
Sweeper - Lamplighter
"Boklusi Passar tienare medh Bastonen".

The Turkish word means 'street-sweeper' but the man's equipment denotes him as a lamplighter.
This soldier is dressed as a Janissary with a leopard skin.
State shepherd
"Belickhoban der som achtar Kejsarens fää"
Beylik çoban guarding the Emperor's cattle.
Pasha at war
"Bassa in Guerra"
The Bey of Rumelia
Commander of the Life Guard

Originally "Superintendent of the Imperial gardens" with jurisdiction over the shores and waters of the Bosphorus, also police officer responsible for the exection of high-ranking wrongdoers.
Imperial "gardener" and life guard
Secretary of the "gardeners"
"Scrivano de li Båstangi"
Overseer of the conscripts
"Chiaia di Achiamoglani" - Acemioglanlar kâhyasi
Was in charge of the açemi oglans, the conscript Christian boys who were later to become janissaries.
Imperial mute
"Mutus precipuus imperatoris"
The "tongueless" (dilsiz) waited on the Sultan in council and were used for confidential commissions.
The janissary detachment of armourers was used for the production of weapons and for transports but also for the discipline in the area around the Hagia Sophia.
Chief white eunuch
"Cap Agas, Isolarens commendant, snopter"

Supervisor of the palace and commander of the pages, içoglans.
Khan of the Crimean Tatars
"Tatar Han"
Burgher of Constantinople
"Civis Constant[inopolitanus]"
Chief of the Prophet's descendants
"Nakib Effendi"

The numerous corporation of Muhammed's descendants formed a kind of nobility with the privilege of carrying green turbans.
"Cairino chi porta il Tesoro"
Hazinedar = "Treasurer"
Chief huntsman
"Öffwer Jagermester"
Herald for Egypt
"Chiaus d'Agipte"
Servant and taster
"Essendrager - Czesnere"

Sultan's groom
"Sadlar K[ejsarens] hest"
Saddling the Emperor's horse.
with strangulation rope.
"Chelat - Bödeln"
"Lord High Chamberlain"
"Chiaus Passa"
Cf nr 1.
Sultan's taster
"Czesnerbassa qui éprouve il manger de l'Empereur".

Footmen of the Grand Vizier
"Chaters 12 som gå för Viziren när han kommer uthi Divan"
"12 footmen who go before the Vizier when he goes to the Divan"
Chief Falconer
"Douanskij Passa öfwer Falka"
Court dwarf
Janissary Captain
"Sorbetzi. Officiale de li Janizari"
Greek girl
"Virgine grequa"
Greek woman
"femme grecque"
Janissary herald
"Chiaus de li Janizari"
Sultan's rower
"Hamlecij qui tirent les remes de la gallere de l'Empereur"
Page of Sultan's bodyguard
"Hassodanem Isolane"
"Izolan aqildi(?)"
Man in priestly dress
Holding an undetermined object (possibly castanets) in his right hand.
Eunuch doctor of the pages
"Isolan Ekim. Castratus medicus isolanorum"
Infantry colonel
"Ihaia Bassa qui vont au pied devant le Janissar aga"

Yaya was an infantry force from Anatolia.
Bektashi dervish
"Ianissar Soffos prester som gå för ianissarer och roopa Hu hu"

In the Sultan's procession, as described by Rålamb, were a group of Bektashi dervishs, whose leader shouted 'God is generous' and they answered Hû! 'He is!'.
Janissary priest
"Janizarernes prest"
Janissary Nr 1
"N: 1 / den förnämste Janissar som gå näst Ianis[sar] Aga"
Mounted page
"Izoglan a cavallo"
The pages, iç oglans, were chosen among the most gifted of the conscript Christian youth and could attain high positions.
Janissary from Egypt
"Ianissari d'Agÿpte"
Armenian woman
Hebrew woman
Jewish woman
Janissary colonel
"Ianissars Chorbassij qvi vont ā cheval deuant Ianissar aga"
Greek woman
Chief military judge for Europe
"Kadilescher d'Europe"
Harem Superintendent
"Kihaia Cadena som har upsicht medh alle slawinner"

responsible for discipline in the Harem
The Levend were irregular land and sea forces, sometimes more like brigands.
in the Janissary music (mehtar) with a zurna trumpet.
with castanets çalpara

Market inspector
"pesa il pane Mustazib"
'Muhtezib weighs the bread'
carrying instruments for punishment.


The 'tongueless' (dilsiz) messengers were used for confidential commissions. Cf nr 35.
Sultan's bodyguard
"Peick qvi vanno innanzi l'Imperatore"
Peyk and solak formed the Sultan's bodyguard.
Sultan's bodyguard
"Peik gå för Keisaren" - 'goes before the Emperor'
Persian woman
Sultan's groom
"Ratuax(?) qui garde les brides de l'Empereur"
Herald for Rumelia
"Rumeli Chiaus"
Governor, Beylerbey, of Bosnia
"Rumeli Beglerbeg de Bosnia"
Palace guard
"Sarail Beckri qui font la garde"
Saray Bekçis
Dog-keeper with war-dog
"Samsongij der ser efter Leyonen"
The Samsuncu company managed the war- or hunting-dogs. The subtitle, however, says he is 'looking after the lions'.
Cavalryman from Cairo
"Spahi di Cairo"

A police officer at Constantinople
Sultan's saddler

"Saratzi Passa der som bär hästkläder för Keysaren"
'carrying horse clothes for the Emperor'

Serraç = saddler and groom

Archer and bodyguard, Solak

"Solak effter Keisaren" 'after the Emperor'
Archer and bodyguard


Palace porter - hamal

"Serail Hamali - Ingen annan kommer uthi Serailen uthan der bärer der in Kläder och tapisseri."
"No one is allowed into the Serail except the one who brings clothes and tapestry"

State courier

Khan of the Crimean Tatars
"Tartare Han"
Artillery sergeant






Captain of the Palace Guard
"Viziri Teffeikzij"
Vezir-i Tüfekçi



Woman drummer
with a dümbelek
Woman and boy
on the way to the bath (hammam). She carries a metal vessel covered with red cloth which was used for clean clothes and as a bucket in the bath.
Woman with gold vessels
with castanets
Water carrier
Cf nr 13.
Official expounder of Muslim law.
Mevlevi dervish

playing the kudum drum used in Mevlevi music
Itinerant dervish
"Pelerin" - 'Pilgrim'
Learned man - "Shaykh"
"Cheg effendi - Predicator"
Persian kings etc.
1. Yezdegerd. Name of 3 Sasanid kings.
2. Abd Manaf of Qurayshi tribe, Muhammad's great-grandfather.
3. Hormoz. Name of 5 Sasanid kings.
Persian kings - Ptolemy
4. Kobad. Name of 2 Sasanid kings.
5. "Batlemyus". Astronomer Ptolemy.
6. Anoshirvan = Sasanid king Khusrau I.

Alphabetical Index
Abd Manaf, ancestor of Muhammad 137v
Archer - Solak 112, 113
Armenian men 20, 80
Armenian women 21, 71
Armourer - Cebeci 36
Artilleryman - Topçu 117
Ayran - seller 14
Barber 19
Bektashi-dervish - Yeniçeri softasi 64
Bodyguard Solak 112, 113
Bodyguard - Peyk 31, 95, 96
Bride 70
Burgher of Constantinople 39
Captain of Palace Guard - Vezir-i Tüfekçi 122
Carrier of food to the Serail 13
Carrier (Hamal) of clothes to the Serail 114
Cattle keeper - Beylik çoban 27
Cavalryman - Sipâhî 106
Cavalryman from Cairo 108
Chief Herald - Çavus basi 1, 47
Chief huntsman 42
Chief of the Prophet's descendants - Nakib-ül-esraf 40
Chief white eunuch - Kapi agasi 37
Commander of conscript boys - Acemi oglanlar kâhyasi 33
Commander of inside pages (chief white eunuch) - Kapi agasi 37
Commander of the Life Guard Bostanci basi 30
Cook - Asçi 34
Crimean Tatars, khan of - Tatar Han 38, 116
Dancer with çagana 129
Dancer with castanets (çalpara) 86
Dervish, itinerant 135
Doctor of pages - Içoglan hekim 62
Dog keeper (Samsuncu) with wardog 105
Doorkeeper - Kapici 49
Drum - Dümbelek 126
Dwarf - Cüce 52
Executioner - Cellat 16, 46
Falconer - Doganci basi 51
Footmen of the Grand Vizier - Satir 50
Fruit carrier 12
Gardener - Bostanci 31
Governor (Beylerbey) of Bosnia 103
Governor (Bey) of Rumelia 29
Greek men 54, 78
Greek women 55, 56, 76
Groom, Sultan's 45, 101
Guard - Baltaci 24
Harem Superintendent - Kâhya kadini 79
Hebrew woman 72
Herald (Çavus) for Egypt 43
Herald for the Janissaries 57
Herald for Rumelia 102
Hungarian men 119, 120
Hunter Avcus 22
Infantry colonel - Yayabasi 63
Janissary - Yeniçeri 25, 66, 67
Janissary from Egypt 69
Janissary captain - Yeniçeri Çorbaci 53
Janissary colonel 75
Jew 74
Jewish woman 73
Learned man - "shaykh" 136
Maidservant 125
Manservant and taster - Çesnici 44
Market inspector - Muhtezib 93
Mevlevi-dervish with drum 134
Military judge - Kazasker - for Europe 77
Moldavian 26
Mufti 132
Musketeer - Levend 81
Mute messenger - Dilsiz 35, 94
Page - Iç oglan 60
Page, mounted 68
Page of bodyguard - Has odanin içoglani 59
Palace Guard - Saray Bekçi 104
Pasha at war 28
Persian kings 137, 137v
Persian men 97, 98
Persian women 99
Priest 61
Priest of the Janissaries 65
Ptolemy the astronomer 137
Punishment of dishonest tradesmen 11
Rower, Sultan's - Hamlaci 58
Saddler, Sultan's - Serraç 111
Secretary for the garderners 32
Shepherd - Beylik çoban 27
Sheriff - Subasi 110
Soldier carrying enemy head 15
Standard bearer - Bayrakdar 4
State courier - Tatar 115
Streetsweeper - Bokçu basi 23
Sultan Mehmed IV 2
Sultan's favourite wife - Hasseki Sultan 5
Swordbearer to the Sultan - Silâhtar aga 3
Taster, Sultan's - Çesnici basi 48
Treasure carrier 41
Trumpeter - Zurnaci 84
Turkish women 6, 8
Wallachian man 123
Water-carrier 131
Water-carrying servant 17
Woman and boy on their way to the bath 127
Woman, Armenian 21, 71
Woman, Greek 55, 56, 76
Woman, Hebrew 72
Woman in 'bathing pattens' (nalin) 7
Woman, Jewish 73
Woman, Persian 99
Woman smoker 9
Woman, Turkish 6, 8
Woman with a drum 126
Woman with a vase and goblet 10
Woman with gold vessels 128
Woodcutter - Baltaci 18, 24
Zither-player - Kanûnî 89

Other Albums:
I Turchi. Codex Vindobonensis 8626 of Bartolemeo von Pezzen, 1586 to 1591
Peter Mundy's Album, A briefe relation of the Turckes, 1618
Military Pictures from Hans Sloan's The Habits of the Grand Signor's Court, c.1620
Pictures from Heinrich Friedrich von Diez's Album Costumes Turcs, c.1790

Illustrations by Europeans:
The present state of the Ottoman Empire by Sir Paul Rycaut, 1667
Prints after Caspar Luyken from Abraham a Sancta Clara's Neu-eröffnete Welt-Galleria, 1703
Paintings of Ottomans by Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, made 1699-1737
Prints of Ottomans after Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, c.1708

Persians of the same period in Dr. Kaempfer's Album of Persian Costumes and Animals, 1684-5

Ottoman Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers in the 15th to 19th Centuries
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

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