The Art Of Metal

Metallurgy has an important place among our traditional handicrafts. As Anatolia is very rich in metal mines, the metal art tradition has a very long history.
Before they came to Anatolia, the Turks successfully produced examples of metal workmanship in Central Asia. When the Turks became Muslim, an illustrious period began in metal art.

Various materials such as gold, silver, copper, brass and bronze are used in Turkish metal art. Wrought, casting and roll techniques are used in production and ornamentation consists of engraving, relief, repousse, openwork, niello, filigree, enamel and gilding.

The Anatolian Seljuks made a contribution to the development of metal art regarding material, technique and ornamentation. Many of the metal objects mentioned in the sources survive today. Each of the surviving examples displays extraordinary workmanship, and they illustrate various forms.

During the Ottoman Period, copper ores were mined extensively in Anatolia and the Balkans and, as a result, Ottoman metal art reached a highly successful level.

On the one hand, gold and silver were mostly used for the artifacts made for the palace and the high level of development of their jewellery workmanship is quite outstanding.

On the other hand, the copper vessels used in everyday life found a wide area of usage and entered every home. In many centers, such as Diyarbakır, Tokat, Trabzon, Erzincan, Kayseri, Kastamonu, Bursa, İstanbul, Edirne and Sarajevo, beautiful kitchen vessels were produced.

The copper objects made using various techniques are usually decorated with floral motifs. Leaf, rumi, pomegranate, tulip, and cypress are the most common designs.

The Ethnography Museum has a rich collection of metal artifacts. These are dated to Anatolia’s Turkish Islamic Period (Seljuk, Principalities and Ottoman Periods).