Architectural History and Conservation Considerations of the Wooden Minbar in the Kundekari Technique in the Taşkın Pasha Mosque


ABSTRACT Kundekari is both a traditional Turkish wood carving technique and a construction system, which is produced by interfacing small geometrical wooden pieces at different angles in order to form a geometric composition. The technique encompasses both actual kundekari and imitated kundekari. The connections of the wooden elements are secured by dovetailing them without using nails or adhesives in actual kundekari, however, in the imitated kundekari system, use of nail and glue is needed to achieve the same appearance of actual kundekari. Early samples of kundekari are seen in the 12th century in Egypt, Aleppo and Anatolia. Elegant examples of kundekari can be seen in minbars and mihrabs of mosque architecture mostly from Early Islamic Art. In this paper, the minbar of Taşkın Pasha Mosque in Damsa Village of Ürgüp Town (Nevşehir, Turkey) is investigated in terms of the characteristics and development of the kundekari system, the minbar’s material problems, and conservation proposals.