The Art of Turkish Mosaic Lamp
The spread and development in Anatolia coincides with the Seljuk Empire period. The art of hand-craftsmanship was introduced by the Seljuks, who lived their strongest period towards the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. In addition to numerous mosaic pieces, many of which are still undocumented, there are many pieces of lamps of Seljuk origin. The oldest known Seljuk mosaic lamps remain from the 13th and 14th centuries. 8 of these mosaic lamps were discovered by the German Consulate Loytred in 1905 at the Alaattin Mosque in Konya, the capital of the Seljuks. It is known that these mosaic lamps were processed in the Seljuk region between 1220 and 1250.
8 large mosaic lamps, 3 large pieces of other small mosaic lamps and 2 very small pieces of large mosaic lamps. Today, these mosaic lamps are exhibited at the Mevlana Museum in Konya and the Kier Collection in London. A third group of mosaic remains were found in Fostad in 1935-1936. This 7 mosaic lambain found in Fostad was documented to have been processed in Anatolia in the 14th century. The common design feature of these 18 mosaic lamps is Kufic edges, 8-pointed stars and geometric motifs. Turkish mosaic lamps of Central Asian origin have preserved all their characteristics until the 14th century. After the Ottomans took control of all of Anatolia, some changes in the characteristics and dimensions of the motifs began to occur.
During the Ottoman Empire, many Turkish tribes settled and decided to establish a number of towns and small cities. Mosaic glass workshops are located on the shores of the Marmara Sea 60 km east of Istanbul. The first palace mosaic workshop was established and a mosaic lamp master of various sizes began to work to decorate the Ottoman palaces. These exceptional mosaic lamps were also sent as gifts to the king and queen, the army commanders, to consolidate relations with European countries in times of peace and war. Towards the end of the 14th century, these mosaic lamps began to enter European homes, churches and castles.
14.-16. During the centuries, Turkish mosaic lamp designs were exhibited in many famous European artists such as Holbein, Lotto, Memling and Van Eyck. At the beginning of the 16th century, almost every prince of Europe had his own collection. In Vienna, people were only allowed to receive mosaic lamps after 1671. After the Turks left Vienna, they were left in many Turkish mosaic lamps. In this way, beautiful Turkish mosaic lamps are recognized by the European people. After a while, the European king and queen opened their castles and palaces. This increased the interest in the Turkish mosaic lamps and thus increased the demand for mosaic lamps.
In the 19th century, palace mosaic workshops were opened in the districts of Istanbul such as Kumkapı, Topkapı and Üsküdar. In 1891, Sultan Abdülhamit II increased the number and size of workshops. Thus, mosaic glass art has gained diversity. During this development, the Anatolian mosaic lamp from Central Asia to the plains of Anatolia and the coastal strips maintained its purity and characteristics. The Turkish palace mosaic lamps were inspired by Turkish-dominated sources and changed according to Turkish standards and requirements. In this process, mosaic lamps have reached the place they deserve in Europe. The design, color and symbols of the Anatolian mosaic lamps are incredibly rich. These mosaic lamps are exported to more than 150 countries today.