Stones of the Grand Bazaar: Meváris Jewellery From Istanbul
Before the reader even opens Stones of Grand Bazaar: Meváris Jewellery from Istanbul, he or she will have a definite expectation regarding the subject matter. Judging by its cover, one would expect that the book’s main focus is jewelry and/or gemstones, but the surprise comes in the interpretation of the word stones.
This is a monograph about the jewelry of Fatma Altinbas. In addition to the historical aspect of the Grand Bazaar, the reader is treated to a vast and extensive history of Istanbul and Turkey itself. Actual photos or historical reproductions accompanying the text are lush, as is the telling of its history, as are its many artisanal offerings.
The Merváris brand is not the jewelry of grandiosity. It is beautiful and somewhat delicate as well as symbolic. Ms. Altinbas writes of her relationship to the Grand Bazaar and how it has influenced her work. One of the most humorous lines in the book is when she compares the Grand Bazaar the world’s first and largest flea market—if only!
You get jewelry that is explained from a historical point of view from the very beginnings of the Grand Bazaar, and inklings of how Istanbul became the center of Turkey for so many artisans and craftsmen through the ages.