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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Istanbul pictures Start page >> Kilims at the Istanbul Mint tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

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Kilims at the Istanbul Mint

Bütün Türkiye resimleri için buraya basınız veya Istanbul sayfa veya müzeler,
Istanbul start page, or to a large collection of just museums to Start page for other Turkish cities


Opposite the entrance to the Archaeological Museum complex (that actually houses several museums) there is one of the entrances to the former mint. An interesting piece of industrial architecture in its own right, it sometimes houses very fine exhibitions that are well worth a visit. In September 2003 I had the good fortune of visiting an exhibition of “kilims” that had all been collected by Josephine Powell, a woman who’d fallen in love with this kind of flatweave. She recently passed away, here is a link to an in memoriam From Enc. Britt.: a pileless handwoven reversible rug or covering made in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Caucasus, Iran, and western Turkestan. I forgot her name and am sorry if I infringe on her copyright (she was present when I took them though, and she saw me “steal her show”. But I thought I ought to show those kilims, since they will probably be never exhibited in Istanbul again. Of course there is a whole science connected to this art and the least I could have done is take note of the regions the pieces stemmed from, but I just show the pictures that I took, with some of the building itself. When trying to find more information I came across a site with the explicit warning that colours are of the essence in this art. I had trouble taking the pictures with the sometimes harsh spotlights, and different types of lighting. I tried to make the colours look as natural as I think I can, diminishing the glare in some places, adding a bit of contrast here and there, so don't take these to be the precise real colours. Through the "topics" option on Pbase I try and show more museums, check the Link to other museums that I took pictures of.

A viewer contributed: The study of Anatolian kilims and other flatweaves of nomadic origin has many aspects: looms, weaving technique, material, colours, the dyes used, age, region, ethnic origin, the purpose of their production, their design. Each of these aspects is interesting; the latter is plainly fascinating. The design can be approached from two opposite angles: there are the tens of individual motifs, their meaning and changing forms (an analytic approach); and there is the cohesion of these motifs, how - together- they have a global meaning (the synthesis). In this way, the rug delivers a message, and weaving becomes a written language of illiterate women (considering their situation less than a century ago).

Closely related to the world of symbolic motifs and the global message carried by a rug, is the purpose of the weave, sometimes according to successive periods in the lifespan of an Anatolian woman. In that aspect the most important are: kilims woven before marriage for her future husband and home, kilims woven for her children, and the kilim woven to be used in her funerary ceremony and bestowed to the mosque, they all display different characteristics, the first and the last being the masterpieces of the weaver.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Kilim catalogue’ – Güran Erbek (DÖSÍM - Kültür Bakanlığı/Ministry of Culture)
& ‘Tussen ketting en inslag – Gebruikstextielen uit Anatolië’ – Tentoonstelling Hessenhuis Antwerpen 1988.
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