Davies + Starr

Bringing home the treasures of the Ottoman Empire

April 02, 2009

The labyrinthine Grand Bazaar can seem like Istanbul's version of a 99-cent store, awash in evil-eye amulets and questionable caviar. But inside Can Antiques, a sense of Ottoman-era grandeur prevails. Owner Íbrahim Uslucan stocks dazzling reproductions of 17th- and 18th-century Russian and Austrian jewelry—emerald-stacked rings, earrings encrusted to their bases with gems— and a select array of originals, such as this late-Ottoman brooch in pink gold set with rose-cut diamonds. They're pricier than the glass eyes sold outside—but, as charms go, infinitely more enduring. Can Antiques, Kürkçüler Cad., Kapaliçarsi; 90-212/520-0397; www.candiamondandjewel.com; from $1,000.

Can Diamond & Jewel

The labyrinthian Grand Bazaar in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood can be disorienting for shoppers, especially tourists hunting authentic goods at the best bargains. Those seeking old-world jewelry should stop into Can Diamond and Jewel inside Rabia Han in the southeast corner. Opened in 1990, owner Ibrahim Uslucan stocks reproductions of 17th- and 18th-century Russian and Austrian jewelry and a few choice originals. Designs are often whimsical such as bird-shaped rings, mock oyster-shell necklaces, and butterfly broaches — all heavily laden with diamonds.

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