The Ibrahim Pasa Palace in Istanbul is said to be one of the great surviving palaces from the Ottoman period. It’s also the home of the Islamic Art and Ethnology Museum.
One of the first things I see is a nomads tent, called a kara cadir in Turkish, with a cover woven from black goat hair and a roof ring with center pole supports, much like a Bedouin tent. The yurta bands are visible as they lay across the roof poles, although normally they would be holding layers of felts over the roof.
There are fun things like faucets and women’s chopines from the late Ottoman period.
There was a loom with all of the weaving and spinning tools laid out and labeled. There were Anatolian kilims (carpets) that were woven in one piece, a rare find as they are traditionally woven in two or three sections and then stitched together.
Shown here is a reconstruction of an 1800’s Ottoman home in Bursa. Wood and brick, covered with plaster and painted saffron. (During a subsequent trip to Bursa, I saw children sitting in similar curved window grills, with their legs hanging through the grid, swinging their feet as they watched the activity on the street.)
One of my favorite pieces was a lantern built around porcelain Chinese garden stool (called a drum stool). I liked it because it was such a distinctive cultural crossover between China and Turkey. There were also 16th century Turkish blue and white porcelains, and a 13th-14th century tulip tile from Iznik.
There were several wood and copper doors from 13th-15th century mosques and minbars, and fittings from ablution fountains. There were 13th century stone reliefs, as well as sarcophagi in carved wood and stone. A bronze dragon doorknob was made from a combination of dragons and lions that was a common theme in Anatolian Artukid art. The combination was thought to have protective significance and symbolized the sun and moon. The motif is frequently found on Artukid coins.
I have collected the rest of my photos from this museum at Pinterest. If you need additional detail about these pieces, ask me to check my background notes…
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Heather Daveno is from Seattle, Washington, where she works as an office manager by day
and a self taught hatmaker by night. She spent most of her pandemic lockdown in 2020-2021 creating 800 masks for the Masks4Millions project.
In a normal year, her travels inspire her hats, which she handcrafts from reclaimed textiles and found objects. You can find her hats and masks for sale at August Phoenix Hats. She is currently reissuing her original journals as “Director’s Cuts” with expanded text and previously unpublished photos, which you can read for free at Daveno Travels.