Just outside the Grand Bazaar’s Nurosmaniye gate, Sofa is almost more museum than shop. Arguably most visitors to Istanbul aren’t in the market for priceless 19th century Greek and Russian orthodox icons, Ottoman miniatures and book illuminations, but for those who are, it’s a must. The icons are often unusual examples of late Ottoman-era production and the miniatures and illuminations portray anything from mythological scenes to Ottoman sultans. Owner Kashif Bey has also lovingly built up a fantastic collection of Turkish, Ottoman and Islamic art, from delicately carved signet rings to maps of the region, engravings and ottoman landscape and portrait paintings, as well as huge art books. Admittedly none of this comes cheap, but Sofa has built its reputation catering for collectors seeking one-off historical objects, impossible to source elsewhere.
• Nuruosmaniye Caddesi 53A, Cağaloğlu, +90 212 520 2850, kashifsofa.com