Craftsmen shine at Üsküdar’s 90-year-old antique bazaar
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The world of antiques and mirrors mesmerized Celal Kodallı (below) and he decided to dedicate himself to this craft. Currently, Kodallı owns a shop and atelier in Üsküdar’s 90-year-old antique bazaar.Celal Kodallı owns a shop and a workshop in Üsküdar’s 90-year-old antique bazaar. Unlike Çukurcuma and Hor Hor, Üsküdar’s antique palace is a hidden paradise for antique lovers.
Kodallı started to work in the antique sector 20 years ago as an apprentice when he was a young boy. He worked on fixing and restoring antique mirrors. “I left my mother and father and came to Istanbul. First I was only a helper in a store,” he said during an interview.
However, the world of antiques and mirrors mesmerized Kodallı and he dedicated himself to this craft. “If you do not love this job, there is no way you can do it,” he said.
In time, as Kodallı developed himself, he began to restore other furniture. “My main expertise is antique mirrors. However, I also restore and find antique furniture and even paintings.”
Kodallı’s small store contains many mirrors. Some of them are from the Ottoman Empire era while others are French and English antique pieces from a over century ago. He said his shop buys from dealers traveling abroad.
Finding unique pieces
Finding unique pieces is important for Kodallı. “Especially mirrors,” he said, showing a mirror from the Ottoman era. Gold leaf mirrors are his favorite kind of furniture. “I started this job with mirrors,” he said, adding he now sells all kinds of antique pieces.
A headboard from France inscribed with Ni Peur, Ni Craint, Nous Envahissons (No Fear, No Restraint, We Invade) is among the most valuable pieces at the store. “This headboard is believed to have been sent as small gift to an English person from France,” said Kodallı.
Normally people do this job because their parents did. However, Kodallı’s case is different. He started alone and now works with his brother. He said restoring antique pieces without losing the originality is a difficult task.
Kodallı’s customers include famous and rich businessmen such as Hüsamettin Özkan. He just sold a painting for 1,700 Turkish Liras for Özkan. The paintings at his store are huge and exclusive ones.
While Kodallı is ready to bargain, he would like to give a piece of furniture or a painting its worth.
It is possible to find paintings from France, Belgium and Iran complete with signatures. “I have started to buy paintings. This is a new trend here,” he said.
While there are many pieces coming from abroad, there are many pieces coming from Denizli, Sivas and Kayseri.
Kodallı also specializes in frames, which he restores and remakes. “I usually work on antique frames, but I also produce my own designs,” he said.
Kodallı works at his atelier, one floor below his store. His workshop is full of antique pieces waiting to be mended or restored and
Kodallı is always ready to look after them.