Dolls from Istanbul

A family I know from Woods Hole went on a trip to Turkey this summer. Deb sent me this series of photos of a doll shop in Istanbul. Here is her daughter Celeste standing alongside the amazing display of felt dolls. Among the conservatively dressed female figures, I can see some whirling dervish dancers in white as well as some pretty wild-looking felt caps.

Please Note: Mara from Ankara, Turkey just wrote a comment and said, “These are actually made in Central Asia — in Uzbekhistan, if I remember correctly — but they are sold quite widely in Turkey”.

There are dressed up rabbits, mothers with babies hanging on, and moustached short squat men. Thanks for sharing these, Deb!

14 thoughts on “Dolls from Istanbul

  1. Cute!!!!
    Oh Salley I wish the traveling exhibit comes to NJ/NY area. I love your art. I’ll try to go in November and see in person the art pieces.

  2. These are the most interesting, artful dolls! They are so well made and not a bit like what one would expect as a “souvenir doll” or costumed regional doll. They look like they have some needle felting or wet felting in their costuming and perhaps their bodies, too. Really well done! The whirling Dervish doll are really amazing.

    Your friend’s daughter is adorable! What a great trip they must have had! Thanks for sharing…I will be back to look at these again, I am sure!

  3. Hi, these are actually made in Central Asia — in Uzbekhistan, if I remember correctly — but they are sold quite widely in Turkey. They are exquisite – we have several, including one of a Kazakh man on a horse. They are made of felt, including the bodies of the dolls. There are some other beautiful felt crafts being made in Istanbul and sold in Grand Bazaar and other places. The scarves made of wool roving felted onto silk are amazing. If anyone is visiting Istanbul, don’t miss out on the Arastra Bazaar – an upmarket bazaar near the Blue Mosque that sells artwork and crafts by many local artisans. Fantastic! Cheers, Mara (in Ankara, Turkey)

  4. I add my thanks to Deb for getting these photos to you. I have really enjoyed seeing these incredible dolls. They sure are full of unique personality, aren’t they?

  5. Thank you so much for a peek at these marvelous dolls! The ethnic costuming and characters are extra special!!! What a treat to see these!

  6. Hi! Can you please ask your friend where this doll-shop is located in Istanbul? I’m going there next week and I would like to have a close look at these wonderful dolls

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