Museum of Palace Collections

The project to initiate a museum dedicated to Palace Collections first started when 20,000 objects that the visitors could not see in the furnished spaces of the Dolmabahçe Palace were transferred to a warehouse-museum. Due to the lack of adequate display facilities in this space, the “Museum of Palace Collections” project was launched to create a new location, including museums, art galleries and warehouses, in which sample pieces from all collections could be exhibited. Exhibition organization utilized 28 modern museum showcases, kitchen utility display areas and open display platforms to bring as many objects as possible to visitors. The display windows are made of high resistant material incorporating steel carrier systems to exhibit heavy and large objects, and coating to provide air and dust impermeability.

The Collection

The main purpose of the Museum of Palace Collections is to bring to light the daily objects that are used in the 19th century Ottoman palaces, especially the Dolmabahçe Palace, and which are included in the inventory of the National Palaces. The objects exhibited in the Museum of Palace Collections aim to provide clues regarding the details of 19th century daily palace life to the visitors. All the artifacts in the museum are authentic samples from a period in which the Ottoman palace closely followed the developments of the world. The collection consists not only of the items used in the Dolmabahçe Palace, but also the artifacts that have witnessed the last 70 years of the Ottoman Empire in Aynalıkavak, Küçüksu, Ihlamur and Maslak pavilions, and in Beylerbeyi and Yıldız palaces.

A wide range of artifacts are exhibited at the museum; clothes used by princes and princesses, toys, handicrafts, writing sets used by the sultans, seals, inscriptions, examples of writing sets used in the royal court and the first Parliament, medicines, dental units, silver shaving sets of sultans, royal mothers’ cleaning and care tools, crystal, porcelain and silverware, hand-written copies of the Quran, Hereke carpets, Yıldız porcelain products, clocks, china stoves, books from the palace library, painting tools and equipment of the Caliph Abdulmejid Efendi, oil paintings, lighting fixtures and decorative items.

The Museum of Palace Collections showcases a selection of 5,000 artifacts chosen to reflect all collections from approximately 43,000 historical objects from the warehouse. The entrance section of the museum hosts periodical exhibitions as an art gallery, while the Collections section functions as a permanent museum. The last section of the Museum of Palace Collections is the warehouse, where all objects are protected and maintained periodically by modern techniques. This section is only available to experts and researchers.