Gift Exchanging Practices between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Ottoman Empire: ‘Cose Turche’ and Strange Animals
- Ottoman History;,
- Kingdom of the Two Sicilies;,
- Diplomatic Gifts;,
- Teatro di San Carlo
Copyright (c) 2022 Rosita D'Amora
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Between August 1741 and the spring of 1743, following the conclusion of a treaty between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Porte, Naples became the stage of a series of attentively choreographed events starring two special guests: Hacı Hüseyin Efendi, an envoy of the sultan Mahmud I and an elephant, presented as a sultan's gift to the King Charles of Bourbon. Both guests became a public spectacle, aroused great curiosity, and generated many written and visual responses. Resorting to both the Neapolitan court-sponsored textual and visual reconstructions and to unpublished archival documents, this article shows how the both on- and off-stage performances arranged to present the envoy, and the sultan's gifts, had the clear intent of leaving a long-lasting impression on the new Ottoman ally, but also aimed to assert the power of the Bourbon king inspiring sentiments of wonder, admiration and devotion in his subjects.