News From the Sun Bow Front:
Dear friends and family,
Well, we left the warm breezes of Charlottesville, and flew into the freezing winds, and deep snow of Northern Europe. Istanbul was as bad. Heavy snow, and cold winds marked our welcome.
However, the food and hospitality more than made up for the inconvenience. And, by our return from Konya, the snow had melted, and it was 'light coat' weather again.
We visited Omar & Muhammad Bozdag - old friends since 1979. They are still in the Antique carpet and kilim business, and doing well enough to have opened a fine hotel - Sultanhan. It's very nice (they do a fabulous breakfast - almost as good as the Rumi in Konya), and are located on the next street over from the Hali, in Sultanahmet - right next to their shop.
Their shop has always been a place where one can see not only the local 'ruggies' like Belkis Balpinar, Harald Bhomer, and Josephine Powell, but also, visiting collectors and dealers. It's a great place to see, be seen pondering, and to drink great Turkish Coffee.
We also visited Eyup Sultan's Tomb and Shrine. He is one of the great saints in Islam, and because it is in modern Turkey, respectful non-Muslims are welcome to visit.
Click here for a slide show of images from the February trip
The Covered Bazaar was not busy, and neither were most of the carpet shops we visited. It seems many Turks are traveling during the slow winter, to generate sales in Europe and America.
We also went to the fine clothing section of the Armaggan (Turkish for a special gift) building on Nuruosmaniye Blvd. What a treat. It's like stepping back in time to a 'gilded age' - where wealthy ladies lavishly shopped.
The detailing and workmanship on their clothing is spectacular. And the staff is most helpful, and very knowledgeable. We recommend their buffet lunch (upstairs). Ask to taste their pickled vegetables. And, do take home some of the Lokum (Turkish Delight). It's the best we've tasted.
The snow was still everywhere when we arrived in Konya. It also melted by the time we were leaving. Talk about climate change. The food was a great as always: Konya Kebab at Ali Baba's,
Turkish mixed toast (grilled with cheese, tomatoes, peppers and lamb). Wow! And some great kofta (traditional Turkish grilled minced meat), where they minced the fresh lamb and veal.
Young Partners has added a felt shop to their holdings. It is run by Mehmet's brother Gallup, and has excellent connections with the traditional craft schools of Seljuk University. It's just by the exit from Mevlana's Tomb, and well worth the visit.
A wonderful place to pick up small gifts for friends and family. All very neat, exotic, and very well priced.
The back alleys behind Mevlana Cadessa still have super neat small shops, with many Central Asian pieces making their appearance alongside older Anatolian textiles, and new reproductions of classic Caucasian Carpets (with hand spun wool and vegetable dyes).
Karavan is still in the process of moving, and Mehmet Uchars boutique hotel is now open. We hope to have pictures on the May trip.
On a less happy note, it must be reported that supplies of older rugs are dwindling. It is becoming
more difficult to locate all we want. We are thankful for our Turkish friends and family who locate, select, and hold great textile art for us. May it continue.
Our shipment is here, moth-proofed and ready for adoption. Please do visit and select one of these rapidly vanishing artifacts of a earlier age.
The tea is hot, and the stories are all new and improved.
We await the pleasure of your company
saul & the sun bow crew