Sadberk Hanım Museum, Istanbul

The Sadberk Hanım Museum, on the shore road in Büyükdere just south of Sariyer on the Bosphorus in Istanbul (map), is a privately-funded museum founded by the Koç family, one of Turkey’s richest. It’s open daily except Wednesday from 10:00 am to 17:00 (5 pm).

The museum holds not only the family’s heirloom collection of Ottoman art and furnishings, but also Anatolian antiquities and Islamic art.

It is a gem of an institution, established in an old waterfront villa and new museum buildings.

The villa, once the summer residence of Manuk Azaryan Efendi, an Ottoman Armenian who was Speaker of the upper house of the Ottoman parliament, has been beautifully restored and now serves as the Art Historysection of the museum.

Exhibits include coins, Islamic art, Ottoman artifacts, costumes, and ethnographic itemstespih (worry beads) of solid gold; golden, bejewelled tobacco boxes and watches (one bears the sultan’s monogram in diamonds); beautiful Kütahya pottery; even a table that once belonged to Napoleon (he’s pictured on it, surrounded by his generals).

A number of rooms in the great old house have been arranged and decorated in Ottoman style – the style of the ruling class, obviously. There’s a sumptuous maternity room with embroidered cloth and lots of lace, a salon with all the paraphernalia of the Ottoman Turkish coffeeceremony, and a third set up as a circumcision room.

A display case holds a fine collection of Ottoman spoons(the prime dining utensil) made from tortoiseshell, ebony, ivory and other precious materials.

The Sevgi Gönül Building is a modern addition for the museum’s Archeological section, featuring artifacts from Anatolia’s many civilizations, including Ionic, Hellenic and Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine, dating from as early as the 6th century BC.

There is also a well-chosen collection of Chinese celadon ware from the 14th to 16th centuries, later Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, and some 18th-century Chinese porcelain made specifically for the Ottoman market.

If you come to Sarıyer on a Bosphorus cruise ferry, look to the left as you leave the dock for a yellow wooden house on the shore road about 300 metres to the south – that’s the museum.

Plaques are in Turkish and English throughout the museum. A cafe and gift shop are at your service.

Sadberk Hanım Museum
Piyasa Caddesi 27-29 
Büyükdere, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel +90 (212) 242 3813


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