Topkapı Palace presents unseen, rare stuff for the first time.

The exhibition ‘Turkish Bath: The Bathing Tradition and the Art of Hairdressing during the Ottoman Period’ features 130 pieces, 80 percent of which have been taken from the palace’s warehouse and have never before been displayed

An exhibition titled “Turkish Bath: The Bathing Tradition and the Art of Hairdressing during the Ottoman Period” opened yesterday at Topkapı Palace.

The exhibition is the culmination of a six-month effort by the museum’s experts and will feature never-before-displayed pieces.

Topkapı Palace New Exhibition

Speaking at a press conference on Monday the museum’s director, historian İlber Ortaylı, said some of the items to be put on show were from the Topkapı Palace Museum’s warehouse and spanned a period from the 16th to 20th centuries.

He said among the pieces are hairdressing sets and personal care items as well as objects used by sultans from Beyazıt II to Ahmet III, including a gold ewer, a golden razor and the bath faucets of Sultan Abdülhamid II.

Ortaylı said the sultans’ Turkish bath plan from the palace’s archive dated back to 1511 and was one of the most significant pieces on display. It is also a response to those who claim that the Ottomans built without a coherent plan.

“This exhibition, which we hope will be an occasion for museum lovers to see artworks which have never been displayed before, is devoted to former director Filiz Çağman, who devoted herself to the Topkapı Palace Museum,” Ortaylı said.

The exhibition will feature 130 pieces, 80 percent of which were taken from the palace’s warehouse. The pieces were restored just for the exhibition, which features washcloths, marble basins, ewers and miniatures depicting the shaving process as well as illustrated text providing historical information about the Turkish bath tradition. The exhibition catalogue, sponsored by Akbank, will be distributed to all libraries.

The exhibition will be open until July 31 at the Topkapı Palace Imperial Treasury.

from : Turkish Daily News

5 Comments so far

  1. erato (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

    did anyone see that exhibition? is it any good? it sounds very interesting! these are the things i am most interested about, about istanbul, being a museologist and all..
    by the way, is there a magazine/site such as pariscope or timeout, that one can follow what’s on in town weekly? e.g. in athens we have athinorama and you can check it out on the internet as well. thanks in advance to anyone who gives me out information. have a nice weekend – it’s easter holiday here and i am GONE from the big city asap. bye

  2. Meral (unregistered) on April 21st, 2006 @ 8:44 am


    I haven’t been in that exhibition, but for sure it sounds interesting (at least for me).

    About following what’s going on here: newspapers and news sites do a good job (such as Hürriyet and Radikal newspapers and their sites), but as far as I know, such information they give is in Turkish only. You can also try and The İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts’ site ( both provide info in English, but they don’t cover everything going on in this city, but still they provide quite a lot info!

    Art centers’ and museums’ own pages also provide information about exhibitions/concerts/discussions/workshops/etc.
    Ok, I know to check each of them can be burden but I don’t know whatelse to recommend since you don’t know Turkish! (Perhaps learning Turkish to follow one newspaper in order to catch what’s going on here is a less trouble than to check these sites continuously!)

    Hronia Polla ( one of the very few words/expressions in Greek I know … what an ‘unfathomable’ Greek language knowledge I command!!!)

  3. erato (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    metecem, thanks a lot – “euharisto polu” (another greek expression to learn..) the information was more than i was hoping for! by the way, i’m thinking of starting turkish lessons next year;-)

  4. Meral (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 2:40 pm


  5. Selma Mirza (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

    This surely would be an interesting exhibiton to visit. In India they had an exhibition where they displayed the jewellery and wardrobe of the Nizam (Sultan) of Hyderabad. It’s nice to see the kind of lives the rich of a city lead. A little sad too at times, because so many people lived in poverty as they enjoyed the riches.

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