For pieces exclusively from the Ottoman palaces, Iskender, located on the bottom floor of the Mecidiyeköy Antique Market, is the main artery. The two showrooms across from one another display some very intact pieces of furniture with mother-of-pearl details synonymous with the interior of the great palaces.
Other smaller objects include ‘Çanakkale,’ which are painted-over terracotta pitchers and precious examples of Bohemia crystals that were imported to the Ottoman palaces from what is now the Czech Republic. Spoons made from ivory and tortoise-shell, Opaline glass, Chinese vases from about a century and a half ago, and ‘Tombak’ items, which can be identified by the application of gold details onto copper, are all on display in an organized fashion.
The Extra List
A little bit outside the antique route, these two stores carry a worthy selection of antiques that deserve to be discovered on their own terms:
Ancien Located on the trendy Serdar-ı Ekrem street in the Galata neighborhood, one can not ignore the opulent golden glow that emanates from the interior of this store toward the cobblestoned street outside. Antiques from countries such as France, Italy, and England that range from the 18th through the 20th centuries can all be found here. Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No.17/A, Galata; P: (0212) 244 01 12
Bebek Antik The best way to understand Bebek Antik is to go there and spend some time looking through the huge array of antiques available. Based on Charles Dickens’ ‘Ye Olde Curiosity Shop,’ the collection here not only has mostly Ottoman antiques from the 18th through 19th centuries, but also curious little items that await to be discovered. İnşirah Sokak Altun Han No.14/1, Bebek; P: (0212) 263 15 84
Another common item is the large porcelain pitchers, which were used to pour either aşure (wheat pudding with nuts and dried fruits) delineated by its elongated round mouthpiece, or boza (a sweet, non- alcoholic drink made of fermented grape juice). Iskender takes up the most space in the market, occupying numbers one, eight, nine, and 40, all with a unique set of objects that abide to the mostly Ottoman palace aesthetic.
Mecidiyeköy’s more classic European counterpart is Hülya Onat, whose number 48-49 displays Bohemia crystal chandeliers, 1910 Art Nouveau sculptures, Victorian style tables, Opaline lamps, and more. The delightful Diram Karadağ at number 23 has a small but notable collection including a very unique lamp made of Lapiz Lazuli and Opaline glass, a Chinese vase converted by the French to be used as a candleholder, an old French gramophone, and a Viennese chair with very intricate details in the wood outline. Kuştepe Yolu Abide Sitesi, Antikacılar Çarşısı, Mecidiyeköy; P: (0532) 775 32 06
Taken from the January-February 2013 issue