IWA Publishing

The properties of Seljuq and Ottoman era public fountain faucets and some rare faucet samples

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Until the late 19th and early 20th century, public fountains (in Turkish, ‘çeşme’) in Anatolia and Ottoman lands had an important place in everyday life. The water that was collected from various water sources and brought to the city centres through waterlines was supplied to people from the architectural stone structures which we call ‘fountains’. These fountains were constructed in squares and streets as needed; to supply water to an area or to pay for the building of a fountain was considered the greatest deed. An inseparable part of the public fountains, many of which are architectural monuments, is the faucets which are generally made of metal and through which the water would run. The faucets were also named as ‘lüles’ (meaning ‘pipes’) which indicated the flow rate of water. Faucets were paid great attention in the construction of public fountains. This work examines the Seljuq and Ottoman era faucets registered in the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum as historic artefacts and are a part of the Adell Armature Collection. Within this scope, the alloys and metals of which faucets are made; their size and measurements, their design features, on and off mechanisms, wall-mount features, the patterns and decorations on the faucets were also compared. While Seljuq era faucets have stylised dragon heads and other powerful animals depicted in their metal work, Ottoman era faucets usually have floral patterns and not animal figures. This subject draws much attention.

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