Collector Muazzez Bodur created this website to share her tips on collecting antiques with those who are interested, and now the site has become a meeting place for antique hunters.
Let’s say you have a string of prayer beads your grandfather left you, a chandelier darkened by time, an old cloth doll forgotten in the corner, perhaps a box of ancient jewelry or a trousseau left behind by your grandmother. In fact, most people’s homes these days have such items, left behind by grandparents or even great-grandparents. Some people place value on such items, while for others they are nothing more than a waste of space. But is it possible to make these sorts of items truly functional again? We had a chance to speak with Bodur about her collection, the repair of old possessions and ways to decorate with antiques.
“It really is possible for you to reuse family heirlooms. Most of the time, the very things you think no one would want are in fact much more valuable than you might think. In order to find out the real value of your heirlooms or have them fixed before you try to sell them, call us,” said Bodur. Her own interest in collecting began during her childhood, inspired by her own father’s interest in collecting antiques. Bodur studied at the economics department at İstanbul University and worked for 15 years as a marketing expert. She then gave in to her burning interest in collecting antiques and finally set up the website koleksiyonerim.blogspot.com. To say that the site is now an important meeting spot for collectors and those interested in collecting in Turkey would not be an exaggeration.
An interest in antiques starts off with thinking about the needs of your home. Let’s say you need a new dining table and you decide to get it not from some store selling that year’s table trends but rather from an antiques seller. Perhaps you find a wooden table left over from the Ottoman era, or maybe you even have an old piece of wood turned into a table. You add something of your own taste to that table. You make it functional again. Or you try to turn something from days gone by into something that can really fit with your home today. Bodur and her team can help you with ideas on this front. And you can reach repair and restoration teams through her website, too. All you have to do is make an appointment; you don’t even need to go anywhere or haul your possession around. They will come to your home or workplace and take a look at what you have. Are you interested in repairing it or selling it? Or would you like to buy something new? Let them share their ideas with you, and then you can make your decision.
My first love was
my jewelry collection
Bodur started collecting jewelry first. She went around to different antiques sellers asking prices, sometimes satisfied just to touch the jewelry, sometimes actually buying a piece or two after negotiating. Later, she met a woman who was not only an art historian but also a jeweler. She learned everything there was to learn about jewelry from her. Bodur noted, “Being a collector does not mean investing in some expensive things.” She advised: “Whatever your real interest is, pursue that. But don’t make any serious moves without consulting someone who already knows a lot about the subject.” Other items Bodur collects include furniture left to her by her father, fountain pens, war objects from Gallipoli, tableaus and engravings.
Which experts offer their knowledge to Koleksiyonerim?
Dr. Engin Beksaç provides detailed information on ceramics and statues through his Toprakaltı Koleksiyonerliği Atelier (Toprakaltı Collection Workshop). Nil Tükenmez, who offers advice and information on imperial edict and charters collection, answers questions on the site such as “What are edicts and charters?” and “How should they be read?”
Bodur offers advice and information on and discusses the original stones used and the history of Ottoman jewelry as well as the jewelry boxes of the time.
Dr. Ayşe Yetişkin Kubilay discusses techniques used from the 15th century through to the 20th century for mapping and engraving. She also draws attention to important points collectors need to focus on when working with items of these types. Bodur also offers seminars for those starting up collections of their own. Classes begin when eight people sign up. Visit the website for more information in any of these areas.