There's a lovely little museum right between the towns of Büyükdere and Sarıyer called the Sadberk Hanım Müzesi. Unlike Istanbul's larger museums, the Sadberk is a private museum that feels more like a home— it's housed in two 19th century wooden villas right on the Bosphorus. Unfortunately I practically ran through it the other day, as I got there right before closing time. There was an exhibit of Iznik ceramics that I've been dying to see for about a month, and I was worried that I'd miss it. I had planned on taking pictures and doing a little writeup of the pieces, explaining what Iznik is, but right after I snapped the photo below, I was told to put the camera away.
I plan on going back soon to draw the motifs— I am a huge fan of Iznik design. Named after a town in Anatolia where the ceramics were produced, Iznik is an incredibly beautiful, ornate style that was originally influenced by Chinese porcelain. Tulips and carnations were popular motifs, as well as vegetal and geometric patterns. Vibrant turquoise, cobalt, red and green were the main colours that were used— I am particularly fond of the pieces that are heavy on the blues. There's a lot of symbolism involved in these gorgeous designs, which I hope to delve into when I can share some more images.
I also have to add that the Sadberk has one of the most wonderful collections of Ottoman women's clothing, accessories and needlework that I have seen so far in Istanbul. It feels quite personal, looking at the dainty combs and stitched purses once worn and loved. I was fascinated by a couple of dresses that were completely Victorian in style, except for the massive ornate silver belt and embroidery that was clearly Ottoman. They seemed to exemplify the blending of East and West that is truly Turkish.
When visiting Istanbul, I do suggest taking the ferry out to Sarıyer to this unique little museum, it's worth every lira— and it's open every day of the week except Wednesday.