If stunning photography and stylish book design rock your world, you probably already own a selection of Taschen publications. Taschen is bold, brassy, and very, very German.
In Istanbul, three thousand miles from Taschen's home turf, the house of Ertuğ and Kocabiyik has produced some of the most beautiful large format, limited edition photography books in the world.
Specializing in books on Byzantine and Ottoman art and architecture, the large format photography of Ahmet Ertuğ is nothing less than delectable.
It's almost silly to put my photos of his photos in this post; my camera is a Sony Sure Shot with 3.2 megapixels. Ertuğ shoots with an 8 x 10 inch, large format camera. His photos can be viewed online.
Currently, we have three of his books in stock. In Pursuit of Excellence: Worlds of Art from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts was published in 1993. His ode to the principal mosque in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia: A Vision of Empires, was published in 1997. Anatolian Carpets: Masterpieces from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts was released in 1999 and is a must-have for the oriental carpet enthusiast.
How is a book that is itself a work of art put together? Sit back and watch.
As beautiful as our three Ertuğ publications are, the book of his to own is Temples of Knowledge: Historical Libraries of the Western World. Limited to 400 copies (another 100 "portfolio" copies are available), Temples of Knowledge is a showcase for Ertuğ's gorgeous, large format photography.
Did I just drool on my monitor?
Will Temples of Knowledge rival Taschen's SUMO and quadruple in value over ten years? As with all works of art, only time will tell.
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Kirsten Berg has worked as a used book buyer for Powell's for more than 10 years. She is experienced with technical and general reading material, and enjoys working with out-of-print and rare material the most.
Books mentioned in this post