Orlando Carlo Calumeno Collection & Archives
Private museums are a major player in Istanbul’s cultural scene, but their owners often make their careers in industries quite different from art. Orlando Carlo Calumeno has done something similar, though on a smaller scale, in his Teşvikiye shop, Orlando Carlo Calumeno Collection & Archives. While continuing as an executive board member at Net Holding, Calumeno has also collected countless objects from 19th- and 20th-century Turkey.
Calumeno is owner of the world’s largest archive of Ottoman postcards, with over 20,000 that he has collected during his lifetime. A selection was displayed at the Tophane-i Amire exhibition With the Intention of Pomegranate: It's Not Time to Forget but to Remember in March 2016. This exhibition focused on the shared culture of Turks and Armenians in Anatolia, and Calumeno’s collection shows the full range of languages, religions, and ethnicities that made up the Ottoman cultural landscape.
However, the collection goes far beyond postcards, from antique rugs and portraits to metal safes, shaving equipment, weapons, Istanbul guidebooks in several languages, tobacco boxes, ceramics, silver ornaments, advertisements, metal signs, and all manner of personal items from the late Ottoman period. At that time even the simplest objects were branded in at least three languages – usually Ottoman Turkish, Greek, and Armenian – which shows that cosmopolitanism was a part of everyday life. Whether you intend to find a unique souvenir or simply stare at the fascinating antiques, visitors are welcome to come and explore the city’s past.
The store is located in Hak Pasajı, one of the hidden treasures of Teşvikiye. This arcade manages to maintain an old-time feel that has been lost in many of the city’s shopping areas – antiques stores, boutique stationers, jewelers, and shoemakers continue their specialty trades at a more leisurely pace than the crowded avenues outside.
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