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The Ekrem Hakki Ayverdi Collection

Leading Turkish art historian Professor Semavi Eyice has described Ekrem Hakki Ayverdi (1899-1984) as ‘the man who rescued Ottoman period Turkish architecture from oblivion’, in reference to the scores of historic buildings which Ayverdi restored in Istanbul, Bursa and Edirne, and above all to his eight volume masterpiece on the history of Turkish architecture. The first four volumes cover early Ottoman architecture from the 12th century up to the end of Mehmed II’s reign (1451-1481), and the next four volumes Ottoman works of architecture in the former European territories of the empire. This great work has been described as the title deeds to Turkey’s architectural legacy.

Ekrem Hakki Ayverdi was a scholar who shaped Turkish art history, a dedicated restorator, and also an impassioned collector of traditional art works.

The collection he built up over many years includes inscriptions by the most celebrated calligraphers, gilded copper metalware, opaque twist glass tulip vases and rosewater sprinklers, side tables with the painted decoration known as Edirnekâri work, and silverware marked with the tugra of the Ottoman sultans.


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