Antique Turkish Shahmeran Camaltı Reverse Glass Painting

Antique Turkish Shahmeran Camaltı Reverse Glass Painting


Unique, antique Turkish folk art reverse glass painting with the mythological Şhahmeran, the Serpent Queen. In Turkey, she is especially associated with Tarsus and Mardin in the southeast.

Shahmeran is an important figure in mythology from south- and-eastern Turkey and across to Iran - her name means "Shah of Snakes" in Persian - and dates to ancient times when snakes were considered wise and good. Sometimes aThe Shahmeran was all-knowing and wise and beautiful, and lived in her gorgeous underground garden. Discovered by a human who falls in love with her, living with her for years, he eventually decides he must leave her to see his family. He promises to keep her and her garden a secret.

But one day, the Sultan falls ill and the vizir says the only cure is to eat a piece of Shahmeran's flesh. Shahmeran's lover is forced to disclose her. In various tellings of the tale, Shahmeran helps her lover by telling him to feed poisonous flesh or the water used to cook her in to the vizier, and good flesh to the Sultan to allow him to live.  Her lover then becomes vizier.

In some tellings, the snakes do not know that their leader, Shahmeran, has been murdered, or has sacrificed herself to save her lover. The tale says that once they find out, they will come from underground and occupy the city in revenge.

There are still (pre-)Islamic prayers to the Shahmeran, an important symbol of wisdom, strength and grace.

Vibrant, lively, lovely.

The text reads "Sahmeran" (Shahmeran in Turkish) on the right, and "Shah of the Snakes" on the left.

Frame measures approximately 17 x 23" / 43x58cm

Delivery in New York City can be arranged, or item can be picked up at the Brooklyn studio. For details, please email

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