Paintings, powder puffs, and porcelain chocolate cups in Pera: the private world of the Dutch Ambassador's sister in early 18th-century Istanbul
Cornelissen Aydemir, Marloes (2014) Paintings, powder puffs, and porcelain chocolate cups in Pera: the private world of the Dutch Ambassador's sister in early 18th-century Istanbul. In: II. Uluslararası Osmanlı İstanbulu Sempozyumu, İstanbul, Türkiye
Ambassador Jacobus Colyer (1657-1725) for the Dutch Republic in Ottoman Istanbul left this world in considerable debt. As a result, his entire household was drawn up and auctioned. Room by room the furniture, carpets, and clothes within the ambassadorial mansion and summerhouse are described in the probate inventory, in a mixture of Dutch-Ottoman language. Not only his inventory, but also those of his extended family, merchants, clergymen, women and dragomans under the protection of the Dutch nation in Istanbul were noted down meticulously. These inventories together form the basis of my research on material culture and domestic interior at the Ottoman court in the first half of the eighteenth century. For this conference the focus is on Maria Colyer, sister of the Ambassador. She married twice, and lived in Livorno and Aleppo before returning to Istanbul. In the last years of her life, as a widow, it appears that she lived in the ambassadorial palace, even though her brother had passed away and had been replaced in his office. For reasons unknown, the inventory of her room was requested by her son-in-law and daughter of her first marriage. Maria granted her permission and had an inventory drawn up. This inventory gives us a snapshot of the furniture and personal belongings of a woman, who had not only been a wife and mother, but also a traveler. Through her inventory, with the help of precious items such as books, portraits, textiles and jewellery, I plan to sketch her personal world. We will catch a glimpse of the multicultural, metropolitan society of Istanbul, but quite rarely, from a foreign female perspective.
Repository Staff Only: item control page