In the National Palaces Collection, the porcelain tableware, which have an important place with their elegance and quality, consists of porcelain dinner sets, tea and coffee sets, mugs, dishes and aşure bowls. These artworks, most of them which date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are classified in three groups as Turkish, European and Far Eastern porcelains. Majority of the porcelain table sets consists of the porcelain tableware produced by some exclusive brands such as European Limoges, Sevres, Meissen, as suitable for the Ottoman market and according to the inclination of the Turkish people. These artworks have been taken to the Palace as gifts through the agency of the ambassadors or by purchases with special orders, from some European countries, with which the Ottoman Empire has political, cultural, economic relations, such as France, Germany and Britain. Sultan II. Yıldız Imperial Factory, built in the outer garden of Yıldız Palace between 1890-1892 by the order of Sultan Abdulhamid II. (1876 - 1909), has played an important role in revitalizing the Turkish ceramics and porcelain tradition and bringing the porcelain industry from Europe to the country. Among the products of the factory, the majority consists of also the tea and coffee sets and dishes, besides the decorative pieces such as wall plates and vases.
Some part of the tableware in the National Palaces Collection consists of table equipment made of silver, silver plated material, gold plated silver or other metal alloys. Supply of the tableware diversified in terms of functionality to the Ottoman palace is in parallel with the change in the traditional features of the Ottoman’s table manners (eating according to the European manners ie, eating at the table by use of knife and fork, instead of eating by hand and by sitting on the floor) and its spread. These changes are observed particularly in hosting the foreign diplomats. Sultan Abdulhamid II have ordered silver tableware from Europe, and this tableware have been used during hosting the foreign dynasties or other senior members in the official banquets (imperial banquet)given in their honor, in parallel with the intensification of diplomatic relations of the Ottoman Empire with Europe. The surviving parts of the collection are mainly French (Paris) based, which bear the signatures of the manufacturers preferred by also the European elites of that era, such as Odiot, Christofle, and Henri Soufflet.
In the Crystal and Glass Table Sets of the National Palaces Collection, there exist the artworks consisting of the special products of the most famous manufacturers of 19th century in the foreign glass industry and art. Among the sets of the collection, most of which have been made in Europe, the crystals produced in the factory located in Moser that was in Karlsbad region (today known as Karlovy Vary) in the territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time; and in the factory located in Baccarrat in France, are the examples of the important products in the world. Among these sets dazzling with their elegance and brightness, designed and manufactured for use in the banquets organized in the palace as well as for use in the daily life, there are punches, liquor, wine and champagne glasses, decanters, water and lemonade glasses, cups, bowls, sugar bowls, ice cream cups and candy boxes. Some of the artworks bear the sultan's signature of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876 - 1909) and Sultan Abdülaziz (1861 - 1876) as well as Ottoman coat of arms. In the crystal artworks, most of which have been applied cutting and scraping techniques, gold plating, stylized plant and floral motifs, and geometric splice are seen as ornaments.
SELECTIONS FROM THE TABLE SETS COLLECTION
Teapot - 1
It is strapping person’s work and has been made in France. It reflects the air of Rococo. It has a bulbous body, extroverted legs and a cap. The handle decorated with convolutions is combined with ivory at the two points. The cover’s top is in the form of cast and appliqued leaf and seed. And its spout part is adorned with stylized leaves processed as embossed decor.
The objects made of gold plated silver have been ordered in the period of Sultan Mahmut II with Odiot’s workshop in Paris. It is one of the oldest tableware tools of the National Palaces collection, made of precious metals. It reflects the Neo-classical air. The plate edges are surrounded by stylized acanthus leaves processed as embossed decor.
It is made of crystal. Its rim is gilded. It bears the Ottoman coat of arms and the letters A.H. symbolizing Sultan Abdulhamid. It is from the Royal 9000 series produced for the kings and rulers in 1907, by the factory Moser founded in 1893 in Karlsbad. It has been produced specifically for the Sultan, upon order of Sultan Abdulhamid II. It bears the label of the factory Moser at its bottom part.
The set consisting of 1 pitcher and 2 glasses has been produced in the factory Baccarat, founded in Paris in 1765. The factory Baccarat that began to produce the products ordered by the rulers of the countries ever since the date at which Loui XVIII, the King of France placed an order with it for the classes set, has also attracted the attention of the Ottoman Sultans. The orders for the palaces were placed with the factory Baccarat in 1830 for the first time.
The feet of the crystal glasses and jugs are in the form of flower. On the belly part of the set, there is a king’s crown and the letters A.H. made by the scraping method. There are the letters A.H. on the glass covers made of 18 k. gold, and the tops are in the form of star and crescent. The label of 'Baccarat' is available at the basal parts of the artworks.