Posted by Ivan Sønderholm on 08-23-2006 12:41 AM:

Istanbul - Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Hi All

Turkey is great country to visit because of the sun and beaches, the nice and friendly people and of course because of the old and rich weaving tradition. And I forgot - a great public bus system. And Istanbul is the Carpet City.
Among the attractions a rug collector must visit are the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. The museum is situated just besides the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet in the old part of Istanbul.
The museum includes ancient rugs and carpets from the 13th century Seljuk period. On display are also several very large Ushak medallion carpets from the 16th and 17th century together with Holbein Bergama rugs, Giordes-, Ladik- and Konya Karapinar prayer rugs (and much more). Photographing is allowed but without flash.

Photos from the museum:

Ushak medaillon carpets in the large exhibition hall

Selcuk carpet 13th century

Detail of 17th Bergama rug

Holbein Bergama rug 16th century

Best regards
Ivan Sønderholm

Posted by Steve Price on 08-23-2006 08:23 AM:

Hi Ivan

Turkey is my favorite destination (I've been there 5 times), and I always spend a few days in Istanbul when I go. The country is jam-packed with rugs, people who sell rugs, and people who want to bring you to someone who sells rugs, so it helps to learn enough Turkish to tell them that you aren't interested. If you say it in Turkish, they think they must have been mistaken about you being a tourist, I guess. At least, it always works for me.

You reminded me that it's been several years since my last visit - my son's schedule has taken preference over my own. ICOC will be there next year. Unfortunately for me, it's during the time of year that classes are in session and I can't leave. But anyone who can use this as an excuse to go to Turkey - do it. Every part of the country is a joy (I've been down the Aegean coast, along the Black Sea as far east as Trabzon, through much of central Anatolia, and twice to eastern (Kurdish) Turkey.

Regards, and thanks

Steve Price

Posted by Ivan Sønderholm on 08-23-2006 01:48 PM:

ICOC Istanbul

Hi Steve

I agree - Turkey is a joy for a traveler. Especially traveling by public bus is easy, comfortable and cheap. While we are talking about ICOC Istanbul they have organized pre- and post conference tours to different parts of Turkey.
I expect to join the conference but have not left space in my calendar to participate in one of the tours.

Link: ICOC Tours

Best regards
Ivan Sønderholm

Posted by James Blanchard on 08-23-2006 10:17 PM:

Hi Ivan and all,

Thanks for the glimpses into Turkey. We are hoping to make a trip there sometime this year, and there seems to be a reasonable chance that we will add our first Turkish rug and/or kilim to our home.

It has been often repeated that older carpets outshine more recent production, but in my opinion the 13th century Selcuk carpet shown above shows that there are exceptions to that rule. Are there others that agree with my view that it is unimaginative, bland, and has an unappealing colour combination?


Posted by Ivan Sønderholm on 08-24-2006 02:04 AM:

Hi James - the viewers' fascination of a 800 years old carpet comes from the stories it tells through the centuries. What does this carpet tell you ? To me it tell a story about a highly developed culture and great craftmanship.

Best regards
Ivan Sønderholm

Posted by Tim Adam on 08-24-2006 05:59 AM:

Nevertheless, I think James raises an interesting point. Not all ancient weavings seem to be all that beautiful. Then they are admired for their age and rarity, and the stories they reveal or conceal. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, that shouldn't guide us as to what to put into museums, no?


Posted by Steve Price on 08-24-2006 07:27 AM:

Hi James

It's true, I think, that the probability of a randomly chosen antique rug being more aesthetically pleasing and artistic than a randomly chosen new rug is pretty high. But a lot of this is because we tend to define beauty in rugs by criteria that favor the antique. Another factor is that the surviving older ones tend to be from the top of the heap.

As you note, many antique rugs are far from meeting the aesthetic criteria we use. As Selcuk rugs go, I find that one more interesting than most of those I've seen (mainly as photos - not many of them in my neighborhood), which have few colors and little contrast between them.


Steve Price

Posted by Richard Larkin on 08-24-2006 10:18 AM:

Hi all,

This is an open invitation to all Turkotekers stuck with bland, unappealing 13th Century Seljuk carpets cluttering up their garage: send 'em over here, and you won't have any more trouble!!

Just kidding, James, no snideness intended. But I like that rug fine. Speaking of curiosity (see Steve's other thread), I always like to see what the rug weavers were coming up with way back when, before the great classical period examples that seem to have had such large influence since their day. I see the Seljuk as such a real oldie. I continue to study pictures of that Pazyryk carpet for signs of a connection to the Baluchi, but so far, the results are tenuous. (I think I read Jerry Anderson was trying to help in that area, no?)

Rich Larkin

Posted by Cebrail Metin on 12-15-2006 06:21 PM:

Hello everybody

I have just joined the group.I dont know how come i couldnt recognize this group earlier.
I am an antique dealer from istanbul who sells generally Antique caucasian and Anatolian pieces.

I feel so proud about your gentle comment about turkey.And i really like the pictures that ivan took in the Islamic Art Museum.
I usually go there for eyes candy
No one let me to take picture inside.So he is quite lucky that the security guys let them to take a pictures.

I am so unhappy about some of the guys who try to take tourists inside of the rug shops.This sort of shops usually selling new production rugs.
Usually Antique Dealer they dont use this method.

And i am so unlucky that i was late to take a stand in ICOC.

I really like the forum and group.

I just want to thank you for the Admin who designed this forum.

Thank you,

You painter who ask for a technique of colour, Study carpet there you will find everything,Thats Knowledge! Written By P.G