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Porcelain Gallery
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History of Yildiz Porcelain Factory  

    Sultan Abdulhamid II established YıIdız Porcelain Factory in 1890 at the suggestion of the French ambassador M. Paul Cambon. Known at that time as the Imperial Porcelain Factory, it was established to meet the interior decoration needs of the Ottoman Palace. At this time there was a high demand for porcelain from both the court and the wealthy classes, as a result of which large quantities of porcelain were imported from European countries at high prices. This economic consideration must have been the crucial factor in the decision to open a local factory. The Imperial Porcelain Factory was built on a flat area in Yıldız Palace Park at the personal instigation of the sultan. Experts from the Sevres and Limoges factories in France assisted in setting up the factory, and the latest European technology, including porcelain moulds, were imported. Trial production at the factory began in 1892 but two years later the great earthquake of 1894 caused serious damage to the building. The same year it was repaired by chief palace architect Raimondo d'Aronco, and production recommenced. From 1894 onwards in addition to vases, wall plates and other primarily decorative objects, wash basins, writing sets, dinner, tea and coffee services, plates for visiting cards, lidded bowls, dishes, jugs for asure, bonbon dishes in the form of water melons, and other items for daily use also began to be produced. The main subjects of the designs were portraits of the sultans, panoramas of Istanbul, figures of women and children, mythological and allegorical scenes, arabesque scrollwork, floriate patterns and rococo style country scenes. The decorators included well known painters such as Hazret-i ,Sehriyari Ali Ragip, Enderuni Abdurrahman, Omer Adil, A. Nicot, E. Narcice, L Avergne, and Tharet. Consequently the Imperial Porcelain Factory, whose primary purpose was to produce decorative porcelain for the palace and court circles, also played a significant role in the development of Turkish art. After sultan Abdulhamid 11 was deposed in 1909 production at the factory was stopped until 1911, when its former administrators persuaded the government to reopen it. During the War of Independence this factory produced ceramic insulators for linking telegraph wires. It was closed down again in 1920, and in 1936 was liquidated. In 1957 the state textile and ceramics conglomerate Sumerbank reopened the factory. Since 1995 Yıldız Porcelain Factory has been a museum-factory operating under the auspices of the Department of National Palaces. As well as producing ware in traditional designs with the object of keeping the art of Turkish porcelain alive, the factory produces limited edition reproductions of originals in "the National Palaces Porcelain Collection".

Note: Porcelain ware manufactured in the factory are ornamented mainly with hand decoration with a minor part of the production being decorated technically. This web site includes only hand decorated articles

 

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