When Raaj Kumar mouthed that cinematic dialogue to Meena Kumari in Pakeezah, “Aapke paaon … zameen par mat utaariyega, maile ho jaayenge,” changed into he circuitously imploring her to land her toes on a high-quality upholstered ottoman rather? Possible.

Placing a footstool underneath someone’s worn-out soles (or better, gifting them a chunk) is nothing less than a royal gesture. Royal, due to the fact the exercise of the usage of footstools may be traced back to the Ottoman Empire (and probably even a few components of India). The footstool culture from the ones days later gave upward thrust to an army of equally comforting objects—the hassock, pouffe, tuffet and ottoman.

 

Ottoman: A Curious Case
We’ve all been taught that the ottoman, the a lot coveted upholstered backless seat, received its identify from its namesake empire, christened after its founder Osman I (‘Uthman’ in Arabic). As consistent with common perception, it was the norm returned then for humans to prop their ft on stools stacked with cushions at home or in tents. The credit for the ottoman’s layout is going to Turkish carpet weavers, who created such footrests the usage of bales of cotton, says Debbie Koopman, a spokesperson at catalogue company Spiegel Inc. This method, in flip, become likely derived from the historical Egyptian method of turning material and tender natural materials into low stools—a contraption supposed to make amends for the sparsity of timber in the desolate tract united states of america. (The abnormal wooden frame could be padded with leather so it turned into secure to sit down or kneel on.)

Ottoman: Alternate History
Another concept states that the ottoman changed into the primary form of residential seating in medieval-generation Turkey and that it facilitated human bonding. Says Engin Ozcan, a researcher at Ankara’s Bilkent University, the word ‘ottoman’ also manner ‘divan’—banquette-like sectional furnishings that hugs or wraps around 3 partitions of a room. Typically piled with pillows, this style of seating changed into a common sight throughout council conferences (also called divan) among sultans and their commanders. The ottoman arrived in Europe inside the past due 18th or early 19th century and were given its call due to its role in Turkish each day lifestyles.

The earliest proof of the term’s utilization became in France in 1729 as ‘ottomane’. But the phrase entered the English lexicon after Thomas Jefferson’s memorandum found out his buy of a velvet ‘ottomane’—likely an armchair—in 1789 in the course of his Paris tour. Moreover, it changed into perhaps after its arrival within the west that the divan-like piece shrank into smaller gadgets that easily stood in a nook or, as seen within the lobbies of many present-day motels, circular seats surrounding a vertical pole or column.

Ottoman: Turn of The Century
By the 19th century, the ottoman had shifted from the walls to assume centre degree and additionally became round or octagonal. While those versions had backs or palms, the ottoman today functions none of these and normally comes with buttoned upholstery, castors or storage.

Ottoman: The ‘Napoleonic’ Version
As in step with some other principle, whilst the French invaded Egypt on the flip of the 18th century, they saw the locals use a distinct fashion of footstool. Egypt then changed into an ottoman territory, and the loads regularly suffered acts of cruelty and punishment. When the human beings came domestic after their ordeal, they would rest their tired, tortured feet on these footstools. The French later took back this style of furnishings. Contrarily, it’s viable that travellers from Western Europe brought domestic this Near Eastern layout from their excursions of Greece and the Balkans.

Still, why the call ‘ottomane’ and then ‘ottoman’? Was it a literal try to hold the ottoman below one’s feet? That’s some thing to sit and mull over.

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