A Collection of Oriental and European Carpets and Textiles

Ushak Carpet
Western Anatolia
Circa 1700
293 x 254 cm (9’7” x 8’4”)

Notes: Symmetrically knotted wool pile on a wool foundation
Carpets decorated with this allover pattern of bold palmettes and flowerbuds, issuing leafy vines are often ascribed to Smyrna, although the type of weaving and the choice of a warm palette are very similar to that of Ushaks of the Ottoman period. This example is distinguished by a blue-green background, an unusual feature of “Smyrna” carpets, but one that characterises a rare subgroup of Ushaks that were commissioned in Turkey and which were often donated to mosques (see B. Balpinar, U.Hirsch, Carpets of the Vakiflar Museum Istambul (Wesel 1988), plate 40: 257 and AA.VV., Turkish Carpets from the 13th-18th Centuries (Milan 1996), plate 41: 63). Another feature of this carpet is the presence on offset parallel axes of the quadrilobed motif, typical of the so-called “small medallion” Ushak rugs of the 16th and 17th centuries. The palmette and split-leaf arabesque border framing the composition is quite unusual for this group and would seem to draw inspiration from Persian carpets of the Safavid period.


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