A Sultana or Kaddin of the Imperial Harem.
Historical Ottoman Empire officials and ethnic groups.
IN the description to the second Plate there is a slight sketch of the Seraglio and its inhabitants, particularly respecting the females. The Plate itself is a portrait of a Sultana or Odalisk, a term by which all the females are distinguished, except the few (about seven) who are raised to a superior rank, and are called, Kaddins, or Kadeuns.
When the Sultan dismisses anyone of these, either from caprice or satiety, which he does by sending her to the old Seraglio, another Odalisk takes her place. This, of course, is an honor eagerly sought after. One of the reasons, perhaps, of the Sultan’s not marrying, is, that he thinks himself of a superior rank to other mortals, and that he shall degrade himself by forming any connexion of so intimate a nature with what he looks upon as an inferior being.