Ottoman Hands jewellery is seriously distinctive. Its glamorous and decadent designs are directly inspired by founder Deniz Gurdal’s Mediterranean heritage. We stock their treasure-inspired collection; hand-hammered, 21 ct gold-plated brass jewellery that evokes images of hoards of coins washed up on a perfect, white-powder beach.
Turkish-born Deniz has always loved gemstones and jewellery. As a child she loved looking through her grandmother’s chests and her mum’s jewellery boxes. She says, “I adored my mum’s colourful gemstone pieces. Playing dress-up with my sister is one of my favourite memories – I think that’s when I discovered my love for sparkly jewellery!” Her summers were spent with her grandmother, a tailor, learning to sew, knit and make dresses.
Deniz grew up in Turkey and moved to London in 2006, after graduating with a degree in Sociology. She had many different jobs – waitress, barista and nursery school assistant but always believed that she should be doing something creative, something that she loved.
So she studied jewellery-making, design, silversmithing, technical drawing and stone setting, and in 2009 began selling her designs on a market stall on London’s Portobello Road. Her impactful work was an instant hit – she established the brand in 2010 and the brand grew – it’s now stocked in stores including Topshop, ASOS and more worldwide. You’ll also find her pieces in museums and galleries that include the British Museum, the V&A, the National Gallery, Southbank Centre and the Getty Museum in the US. Excitingly, she collaborates with them too. In 2013 she designed an exclusive Roman Coin collection for a Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition found in The British Museum, The V&A Museum and The National Gallery.
It’s not surprising that she works so closely with museums. Her designs and craftmanship draw heavily on the traditions of the Ottoman Empire, an era noted for its gold and silver jewellery dotted with gemstones. This was a period when jewellery was not pure decoration, but also a form of investment and savings. Deniz’ skill is fusing the spirit of the Ottomans with a modern sensibility – these are pieces that suit urban living or beach bars as much as a king’s court.
Deniz still lives and works in London. Her designs begin as sketches and are then created in Istanbul, a process that she oversees with a hawk-like eye. All materials are sourced from Turkey and India and worked with artisan skill for a hand-hammered, lush looking finish. Glamorous, maximal and deeply romantic, let her designs bring out the bohemian, the piratical and the nomadic instinct in you.