Rich pickings: treasures from a courtly Bohemian castle and the cotton baron palaces of Alexandria

Highlights of London’s Spring 2017 Islamic Sales… including the lot that broke the record for an Ottoman textile at auction

By John Scott | April 20, 2017


The spring Islamic sales are being held in Bond Street and elsewhere in London this week. These graphic, almost sensuous silk velvets and brocades, rediscovered by the beau monde in the early 1900s, are tipped to break records at Sotheby’s on April 26 and are just some of the exceptional...
Posted in Islamic Art, Orientalism, Textiles

Betting on Beyoğlu

Hacer Sayman is breathing new life into a Beyoğlu side street with her design boutique, antique shop and café

By Emma Harper | December 13, 2016


Hacer Sayman has a soft spot for neglected buildings. In a city like Istanbul, where historic structures are more likely to be demolished and replicated than conserved, her willingness to pour money into restoration projects is something of an anomaly. But it has served the community well: the beautiful old...
Posted in Architecture, Culinary Arts, Design, Fine Art, Islamic Art, Shopping

Deadlines for research grants fast approaching

Last chance to apply for the Ancient & Modern Prize and the Research Scholarship at the British Institute at Ankara

By Emma Harper | October 26, 2016


Researchers, take note. There’s only a week or so left to apply for two grants awarded to individuals undertaking Turkey-related research. First up is the Ancient & Modern Prize, which is sponsored by Cornucopia magazine, HALI magazine and the three major London auction houses: Bonhams, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The aim...
Posted in History, Islamic Art, News, Textiles

Magic carpet ride

The inaugural Istanbul Carpet Conference took us on a trip from Anatolian ‘cult kilims’ to contemporary carpet design

By Emma Harper | October 9, 2016


‘Come on down!’ bellowed the exuberant MC at last week’s Istanbul Carpet Conference. It was at this moment, which came after the slick opening video and intervals of thumping music, but before any speakers had taken the stage, that I wondered whether I had mistakenly wandered onto a game show...
Posted in Design, History, Islamic Art, Talks and Lectures, Textiles

Dripping with jewels

The ‘Jewel’ exhibition at the Sadberk Hanım Museum has been extended until September 25

By Emma Harper | August 9, 2016


If I could take home one object from the ‘Jewel’ exhibition at the Sadberk Hanım Museum, well, I don’t think I could choose just one. The writer in me covets the 19th-century writing box made of wood and tortoiseshell with silver and enamel embellishments. But then there’s the 17th-century jade...
Posted in Exhibitions, Islamic Art, Museums

Found objects: 19th-century Ottoman imperial tents

A stunning example of these multi-functional mobile palaces

By Ashley Dimmig | July 4, 2016


On September 11, 1683, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha sat in his ostentatious tent outside the walls of Vienna – as the story goes – luxuriously sipping coffee while taking a break from besieging the city. The sight of the Grand Vizier’s unapologetic display of pure decadence apparently so enraged...
Posted in Architecture, History, Islamic Art, Textiles

Fabrics fit for a Sultan

Ottoman Silks launches a line of kaftans with Glyndebourne

By Emma Harper | June 15, 2016


The wavy stem of a tulip, the fanning of a carnation, the lattice pattern created by delicate peony blossoms… the floral motifs of classical Ottoman silks are simply sumptuous. No wonder they were the first choice of Sultans, who commissioned teams of weavers trained in the art of silk hand-weaving...
Posted in Design, Islamic Art, Shopping, Textiles

Turkish art in the city that never sleeps

Frieze New York, ‘Court and Cosmos’ and more

By Emma Harper | May 5, 2016


As one of the world’s art meccas, New York is always teeming with exhibitions, fairs and public art installations. This month a good number of the thousands of works on display are by artists from Turkey, both present and past. So lace up your trainers, because we’re traipsing around the...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Islamic Art, News

Calling young and old alike to apply for the 10th Ancient & Modern Research Prize

Applications due October 31, 2016

By Emma Harper | April 2, 2016


Have an idea for a research project related to things Turkish or textiles? Now is the time to put pen to paper and apply for the Ancient & Modern Prize, an award of £1,000 given to a candidate aged under 26 or over 60. Applications are open until October 31,...
Posted in Archaeology, Architecture, Culinary Arts, Design, History, Islamic Art, Literature, Textiles

Deciphering Islamic geometric design

Workshops and lectures with the artist and educator Eric Broug

By Emma Harper | January 21, 2016


As an Istanbullu, it’s easy to take the breathtaking beauty of Islamic geometric designs for granted. To start, many of the city’s architectural gems highlight Ottoman decorative arts that are more floral than geometric in design. As John Carswell wrote about the venerable Rüstem Pasha Mosque and its paradise garden...
Posted in Architecture, Islamic Art, Talks and Lectures

London’s Islamic Sales, Autumn 2015

By Emma Harper | September 16, 2015


For devotees of Islamic art, there is much to look forward to this autumn. Over the next few months the major auction houses in London will stage their biannual Islamic art sales, and a quick glance through the catalogues illustrates the many superb works on offer. We wanted to give...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art

Telling Turkey’s history through women’s stories

The ‘Kadınlar: goddesses – harem – power’ exhibition

By Victoria Khroundina | July 16, 2015


Women’s stories take centre stage in a fascinating show currently on at the TwentseWelle in Enschede, Netherlands. This city, close to the German border, is home to thousands of Turkish migrants, so a Turkish-themed exhibition seemed a welcome idea for the museum. Kadınlar: goddesses – harem – power takes viewers on...
Posted in Exhibitions, History, Islamic Art, Museums, Textiles

Stories from Olympia

How to show off your Grayson Perry tapestry

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | June 22, 2015


Our neighbour at HALI at Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, the carpet designer Gideon Hatch, was commissioned last year to create a carpet to go with a client’s recently acquired tapestry by Grayson Perry – the magnificent ‘Map of Truths and Beliefs’ (and if you haven’t yet seen the Grayson...
Posted in Design, Islamic Art, Modern Art, Textiles

Soaring high at Olympia

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | June 21, 2015


The first weekend of HALI at Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair was off to a good start. Robert Chenciner (author of a memorable article in Cornucopia 28, ‘The Peoples that Time Forgot’), gave a characteristically vivid account yesterday afternoon of eagle motifs in North Caucasian – and particularly Dagestani –...
Posted in Design, Islamic Art, Textiles

A visual history of Islam

The Art Institute of Chicago’s stunning new Islamic art galleries

By Victoria Khroundina | January 14, 2015


Exciting news out of the US just as 2014 came to a close, with the Art Institute of Chicago announcing the opening of its new galleries for Islamic art, which means the museum’s sumptuous collection is on display for the first time since 2012. There will be a number of...
Posted in Architecture, Exhibitions, History, Islamic Art, Museums, News

The RCAC announces new fellowships

By Victoria Khroundina | December 12, 2014


Earlier this week, the Research Centre for Anatolian Civilisations (RCAC) has announced a fresh batch of fellowship opportunities for the 2015–16 academic year. The overall aim of these fellowships is to develop and facilitate research projects that are concerned with the art, history, architecture and archaeology of civilisations of Turkey....
Posted in Archaeology, Architecture, History, Islamic Art, News

Ancient & Modern Research Prize 2014–15

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | October 9, 2014


Entries are now open for Ancient & Modern, a scholarship for original research sponsored by Cornucopia and Halı magazines, and by Bonhams, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The ninth (2014/15) grant of £1,000 for a research project will be awarded to a candidate less than twenty-six or over sixty years of age....
Posted in Archaeology, Architecture, Culinary Arts, History, Islamic Art, News

Gallery walkabout: Nişantaşı

Philosophical musings, realistic depictions

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | June 9, 2014


We are in chic Nişantaşı this week for a very diverse gallery walk. Half-solo, half-group, the exhibitions we cover are concerned with many different themes and showcase international as well as local talent. As some of the galleries prepare to close for the summer months, this is one of the...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Islamic Art

Ottoman Topologies: a conference

Spatial Experience in an Early Modern Empire and Beyond

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | May 5, 2014


If in the Stanford area, an interesting conference will take place the weekend after next (May 16–17) at Stanford University. Ottoman Topologies will explore spatial experience in the early Ottoman Empire. On May 16, papers and discussions relating to Imagining, Mapping and Building Space will be concentrated on. The following...
Posted in Architecture, History, Islamic Art, News, Talks and Lectures

TCF Fellowships

Applications now open

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | April 23, 2014


A good thing to keep in the back of the mind is the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s (TCF) fellowship programme. There are two types: the Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art and the Cultural Exchange Fellowship.  The TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art has provided funding to young and established scholars since...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Culinary Arts, Design, Film, Fine Art, History, Islamic Art, Literature, Museums, Music and Performing Arts, News
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