Yıldız Tile Imperial Factory
Aiming to revive Turkish tile art and to give it a new direction and a boost, Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) founded the Yıldız Tile Imperial Factory in 1891 in the garden of Yıldız Palace under the name of Yıldız Çini Fabrika-i Hümâyûnu. The factory was damaged in the earthquake of 1894 and rebuilt in the same year by Italian architect Raimondo d’Aronco. Sultan Abdülhamid’s interest in art, the desire to introduce new technologies after the Western countries, and the idea of reviving the Anatolian china and ceramic art developed for centuries, were effective in the construction of this factory. The advanced technology required for the establishment of the factory, and all kinds of materials and molds to be used in production were brought from the Sèvres and Limoges factories in France. All of the works produced in the Yıldız Tile and Porcelain Factory are branded with the original emblem of the factory, the crescent-star stamp, and the year the product was manufactured. In some works, the name of the artist, the Ottoman coat of arms, the initials and the seal of the sultan are included.
The porcelain produced in Yıldız Tile Factory, which is an imperial factory like Hereke Factory, was primarily used in the decoration of the palaces, mansions and pavilions of the last period, and presented to foreign dynasties as gifts. Many local and foreign artists worked in the factory. Halid Naci, one of the most important of these artists, was sent to the Sèvres Porcelain Factory by the sultan to be trained. Naci, who studied tile painting here, was appointed as the chief painter of Yıldız Tile Factory, managing the painting and ornament works of the factory for years and personally signing many works. The works produced during the initial years of the factory were influenced by French porcelain in terms of form and decoration. The production of the factory ceased in 1909 when Sultan Abdülhamid was deposed. During this period, Osman Hamdi Bey, the Director of the Museum-i Hümâyûn, made attempts to re-establish the factory, which was at the time connected to the Directorate of Museum-i Hümâyûn. With the death of Osman Hamdi Bey in 1910, Halil Edhem Bey started preparations for the re-operation of the factory and restarted production in 1911.
During the First World War (1914-1918), porcelain cups were produced for the telephone and telegraph insulators needed for the country’s war effort. The factory, which continued its production under the umbrella of Sümerbank for the duration of the Republican Period, was connected to the Department of National Palaces in 1994.
Today Yıldız Tile Imperial Factory is affiliated to the Directorate of National Palaces under the Presidency of the Republic, notable for its special position among its equivalents as a museum-factory. Currently the factory continues to produce porcelain goods, as well as manufacturing replicas of the products it made during its initial years, enabling the aesthetics of the period to reach a wider audience through its special projects. These products are offered for sale at the relevant stores in the National Palaces shops. The logo of the factory has been renewed and its trademark has been registered with the Turkish Patent Institute (TPE) for a period of 10 years starting from 28 August 2009.