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

Where Felt meets silk

Felt’s Shyrdak rugs are the inspiration behind a new Hermès scarf

By Emma Harper | April 11, 2017


Traditional Shyrdak rugs made by nomads in Kyrgyzstan – tangible elements of a resilient culture – have turned into the stuff of high fashion.  ‘Appaloosa des Steppes’, designed by the artist Alice Shirley for the Hermès S/S17 silk scarf collection, draws on the geometric motifs and vivid colours of Felt’s...
Posted in Shopping, Textiles

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

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

Jewellery and textiles of Central Asia

A rare exhibition at London’s Asia House

By Roger Williams | May 6, 2016


Turkestan Journey, the current, free exhibition at Asia House, recalls a time a hundred years or more ago when women of Central Asia were adorned with an armoury of jewellery. The 60 pieces in a dozen glass cases are part of a thousand items collected over the past 20 years...
Posted in Exhibitions, History, Textiles

Inside story: Borçka

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | April 11, 2016


In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Visiting the town of Borçka, in Artvin Province in Turkey’s Black Sea region, turned out to be an experience which I savoured long after my visit. For in this small, unassuming town I gained...
Posted in Architecture, Design, Photography, Textiles

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

The simple beauty of Anatolian kilims

A new publication featuring kilims from a private collection

By Emma Harper | September 2, 2015


With the publication of The Poetry of Simple Things (Die Poesie des Einfachen), Harry Koll and Sabine Steinbock have provided a valuable new resource for those interested in Anatolian kilims. The limited-edition monograph, which is written in both German and English, displays 131 Anatolian kilims from the authors’ private collection....
Posted in Books, Textiles

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

Garden of woven delights

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | June 23, 2015


Inspiring design motifs abound at the Halı Gallery at Olympia Art & Antiques Fair. James Cohen Antique Carpets presents this magnificent silk Bukhara suzani on Stand 44. Price on request. James’ assistant Ekaterina Ivanova adds a further layer of beauty with her embroidery-inspired silk-print blouse. Photo by Julie Witford. 
Posted in Design, 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

An extraordinary portfolio

By Julie Witford | May 27, 2015


At HALI at the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair – taking place between June 18 and 28 – Cornucopia will unveil an extraordinary ethnographical portfolio published by Annette and Volker Rautenstengel. Following their in-depth studies of Central Asian nomadic textiles, the Rautenstengels, with the help of Peter Alford Andrews (recipient of...
Posted in Books, History, News, Photography, Textiles, Travel

Olympia beckons

HALI at the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | May 19, 2015


For those with happy memories of the glory days of the Hali Fair at Olympia, it is good to see the venerable rug magazine HALI making a return to the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair this summer with a select group of international antique rug and textile dealers (June...
Posted in News, Textiles
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