Collections

The weaponry used by the Ottoman army was manufactured in various workshops and stored in armories called cebehâne, where their maintenance and repairs would also be done. The first Ottoman cebehâne was established in Edirne. Following the conquest of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed II converted the Church of Hagia Eirene in Topkapı Palace’s First Courtyard into a cebehâne, for which purpose this building would continue to be used until the late 19th century. In 1846, at the initiative of Fethi... ...More
Among the most invaluable collections in the Topkapı Palace Museum is its Chinese porcelain collection, which is displayed in the palace’s Imperial Kitchens (Matbah-ı Âmire) together with the Japanese porcelain collection. This unique collection, which consists of more than 10,000 pieces, is the largest porcelain collection outside of China, and is particularly important in that it showcases the uninterrupted historical development of porcelain from the 13th century to the early 20th century.... ...More
Copper works, an important part of Topkapı Palace’s kitchenware, are exhibited in the Confectionery House (Helvâhâne) in the palace’s kitchens, where sweets such as halva, candies, the gumlike candy called macun, baklava, as well as many other confections, and soap, were produced for the use of the palace residents. All of the pots used to cook food in the palace kitchens are made entirely of copper. These pots are quite big, since they were used to serve all those resident in the palace; this... ...More
The palace’s European glassware collection comprises basin and pitcher sets, candy bowls, covered bowls, large and small plates, carafes and glasses, sherbet glasses and pitchers, coffee cups and holders, chandeliers, and candelabra. Bohemian glass and crystal make up an especially important part of the collection. Beginning in the first half of the 17th century, a new variety of glass began to be manufactured in Bohemia using a technique that revolutionized the glassmaking industry. Among the... ...More
The sultans would observe the items in the treasury—which, in addition to being great works of art, also have great historical, monetary, and spiritual value—as if taking part in a special ceremony. Since the treasury was, in effect, a memento of the royal family, the sultans showed special care in enriching its collection. The items in the treasury were originally kept in chests and cupboards that would only be opened on the occasion of the sultans’ visiting the treasury. It was Sultan... ...More