The Festival Throne In Topkapi Palace Istanbul – Chapter 2,
The military band would take their place and begin to play. Then the princes would come wearing shining new clothes and take their places to the left of the throne before the sultan had sat down. Behind them would be halberdiers and heartaches. The janissarie agha, the keeper of the hounds and the other aghas would take their places to the right of the throne. Important men of state and palace officials would take their places in front of the throne. After morning prayers the sultan would arrive with a procession and greeting those assembled take his place on the throne. At his entrance everyone would call out “My sultan, may you live long” and the sound of prayers being said would be clamorous. As the sultan sat on the throne, first the Sadrazam, followed by the viziers, Sheik ullslam, vice chancellor, chief minister of finance would greet the sultan. In this ceremony only the Sheik uldslam did not have to kiss the sultan’s robe but only bow slightly. The Sadrazam would read out the names of all the men of state, scholars, theologians etc. who were attending the ceremony, from a notebook and introduce them to the sultan. As previously instructed they would kiss either the sultan’s robe or the fringe of the throne as their names were read out. After the ceremony was over the sultan would rise to his feet with the sadrazam on his right and the harem agha on his left and once more greeting those assembled would go to the holiday prayers in procession, After the ceremony the palace chief treasurer would take the Festival Throne back to the treasury. It is not known for certain when and by whom the Festival Throne was made. Historians write that this throne, made of 400 kilos of gold and decorated with precious stones, was a present to Sultan Murad the Third by Ibrahim Pasha. Those who have investigated this claim say that it is not the same throne. It is thought that it was made in the first half of the Eighteenth Century. In an archive document in the palace dated 1760 it talks about an “imperial throne” covered with gold and decorated with 953 topazes, among the objects in the treasury. This can be no other than the Festival Throne itself, which has 954 topaz on it, one more than recorded. The throne is covered with plates of gold, the back being decorated with gold thread and rose patterned cloth. There are portraits of Mustafa the Third, Selim the Third and Mustafa the Fourth seated on this throne, ex-hibited in the Portrait Gallery in Topkapi Palace today. The Festival Throne is one of the masterpieces among the riches and souvenirs of a huge state which lasted for 600 years, in Topkapi Palace. Turkish and foreign visitors to the museum always return for a second look at this throne of such beauty and fineness.