Saturday, September 9, 2017


Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'28.5"N 29°00'14.5"E / 41.041249, 29.004029


As the requirement of its functions, furniture constitutes the main works of art group for furnishing the palaces, mansions and pavilions. Its collection generally consists of eclectical style furniture. The period of Sultan Abdülhamid II. (1876-1909) coincides with the period in which the Art Nouveau style experienced; and there are many examples of this style in the palace. This is important in terms of the fact that this period has been experienced in the palace.

When 19th century is examined in general, it is seen that the East and West were influenced by one another with respect to art. The Western artists produced many orientalist style works of art in this period. There is also furniture in this type of production, examples of which have taken place in the collection. Supply of the European origin furniture was mainly realized by means of customer specific production depending on the usage, purpose and place.

This can be understood from the motifs on the European origin furniture in the palace, such as Ottoman coat of arms, sultan's signatures, regimental banners, weapons and stars and crescents. Sometimes they have been supplied by selecting in the catalogs and then placing orders. Besides European furniture, furniture has also been imported from America and the Far East. In addition, there are sets of Far East imitation furniture among the ones imported from Europe.

Another part of the furniture used in the Palace, are the domestic production. At that time, these were purchased from some wok shops opened in Galata, Pera and Nişantaşı, such as the Carpenter Factories of Narlıyan, Psalty, Hakkı Usta, Mora Biraderler, and Refik Bey.

And some part of the furniture used in the palace and available today in our collection is the one produced in the carpenter's shop (Tamirhâne-i Hümâyûn), which was active in Yıldız Palace during the period of Sultan Abdülhamid II. The sultan, who used to carry out this activity when he was a prince, continued to do the same during his reign as well, in his workshop located in the palace, and in the time remaining behind the state affairs.

Besides the furniture produced by him, the furniture produced by some artisans, who worked in the carpenter's shop (Tamirhâne-i Hümâyûn), such as Painter Emil Meinz has also used in the palace. Star and crescent motifs have been used as a decorative element in a large part of the furniture manufactured in Tamirhâne-i Hümâyûn. On this furniture, there exists a stamp or metal plate including the words "made in Tamirhâne-i Hümâyûn", date and name of the master.

Selections From The Collection

The small-sized center table with an octangular tray and eight legs, located in the second hall above the corridor providing passage between the Dolmabahçe Palace’s portions reserved exclusively for men and women, has been manufactured in Tamirhâne-i Hümâyûn. On the brass plate on it bears the date 1315 (1900) and signature of Giritli Mustafa. There are star and crescent motifs in the sunburst-shaped cartridges on the table edge of the coffee table decorated with copper, brass and mother-of-pearl studded on wood, with rumi-hatayi motifs and geometric multi-beam stars motifs.

Center Table
The center table processed with tortoiseshell  and brass material by use of boulle technique, located in the Red Room that has been used as reception room in Harem part of Dolmabahçe Palace (portion reserved exclusively for women). There exist contours decorated with gilt bronze ornaments on the legs and table edges, in such a way as to surround the sultan’s signature. The naturalistic flower and leaf motifs located on the table tray are the porcelain pieces placed by carving the tray.

Decoration with porcelain is generally made by placing porcelain plates with picture into the places on the furniture, determined with frames. As for this example, which can be rarely seen, the porcelain parts are given the shape of the flowers, and each part is placed in its place specially opened for it.


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