Guide to Turkish Rugs & Carpets
What is a Turkish rug? Some people call rugs made after World War I Turkish and those made before Anatolian.
Turkish rugs are sought by collectors due to their rarity and unique artistic beauty. These pile-woven pieces provide elegant floor or wall coverage and stand the test of time in terms of style and craftsmanship. Over the centuries, cultural traditions and beliefs have been incorporated into the Turkish carpet to reflect the political history of the times. The oldest surviving pieces were woven during the 13th century. These elaborate creations featured several colors and were adorned with intricate geometrical or floral patterns.
Styles and Influences
Though influenced by the lavish kilims of Central Asia, Turkish rugs were made unique by the incorporation of symmetrical knots and animal motifs. The Ottomans borrowed from the Asian tradition of rug-making, perfecting stylized techniques in the cities of Konya, Kayseri, and Sivas. During the 15th century, the Turks refined the art of integrating animals into their designs. Classical rugs were created in the 16th century as the art of weaving boomed. Hues and motifs were chosen by palace artists, and then the work constructing these rungs was done at dedicated weaving centers. The tradition of Turkish rug making has survived to the present day in areas like Milas and Konya.
Sizes and Shapes
The size and shape of Turkish carpets varies dramatically. Reversible pieces used as pillow covers or tablecloths can measure as small as one square foot, prayer rugs are usually four by six feet, and room-sized rugs can cover an entire floor or wall. Large pieces have even been used in the past for covering animals or wagons during harsh outdoor treks. The bigger the Turkish rug, the more expensive and time-consuming it was to produce, which is why giant rugs are symbols of wealth.
Most Turkish rugs are woven with high-quality wool, cotton, or silk. Traditional hand-spun sheep wool is excellent at retaining dyes, which is why several strands are often twisted together for superior strength. Cotton is used in the skeletal foundation of Turkish rugs, which is formed with vertical and horizontal weaves known as warps and wefts. Until the advent of modern synthetic pigments, minerals, plants, and animals were utilized as dyes. Patterns and pictures on the rug are made by weaving different colors of wool or silk within the cotton frame.
Ottoman Silk Velvet 16th/17th C.
Turkey. Two sewn stripes, worn, repairs. 130 x 66 cm
Shield Kazak, East Anatolia, circa 1900
Newly secured ends, localized minimal wear. Overall very good condiition. 218 x 129 cm
Smyrna Carpet 18th C
Approximately 23ft. 1in. by 14ft. 1in. (7.04 by 4.29m.). Reduced in length, rewoven areas, repiling.
Smyrna Carpet 18th C.
Approximately 26ft. 5in. by 15ft. (8.06 by 4.57m.). Rewoven, repiled and Kashmiri repiled areas, overcast sides, small fabric patches to reverse.
Kozak rug 2nd half 19th century
Good condition. Northwest Anatolia, Bergama region, 2nd H. 19th Century. 104 x 81 cm.
This small white carpet is from the village, Kozak. It displays patterns of two red vertical railways. There is a giebel shaped end to the group of columnar carpets back.
Kozak Rug Circa 1870
West Anatolia, circa 1870. Newly secured ends, restored sides, minor wear, overall very good condition. 138 x 120 cm
Doubtless rug, designed as a prayer rug. At the close to the lower gable beam, the light-colored band is interrupted at the longitudinal sides. As with a prayer area, the interior field receives an orientation here.
Kirsehir Prayer Rug, Central Anatolia, 19th C.
Size 178 x 116 cm. Luminous color in a very attractive prayer carpet. The brilliant colors lie side by side in harmony. The color pallet, here with turquoise, grass-green, yellow, Aubergine, and light yellow is typical for the region. It appears impressively balanced in this attractive collectable rug.
Kurde / Kurdish Rug 2nd half 19th century
Country of origin: Eastern Anatolia, 2nd half of the 19th century
Dimensions: approx. 205 x 149 cm
On a blue background, a repeated pattern consisting of two rows of flat, hooked hexagons, between which X-shaped bands are placed hook races on the center axis. The dark colors and the pattern of the main border of cartridges on a white background are typical features of these Kurdish from Ostanatolien. Pages rewrapped, both ends restored, pile with usage traces.
Kurdish Rug Circa 1880
East Anatolia, circa 1880. Repilings and repairs, localized wear, newly overcast selvages, overall very good condition with full pile. 206 x 123 cm
Memling-gul Rug Central Anatolia Early 19th C.
300 x 130 cm
At first glance, it is said to have a kazak here, although the color palette has an unusual effect. The decked yellow fund carries the main motifs in red and blue in a staggered order. The rosettes and the sidebands show an ornament as one knows it from star-kasaks. The structure and the color plate suggest a development in Central Anatolia in the first half of the 19th century. Usage wear, minor distorted parts, small worn areas, small damages to ends.
17th Century Selendi Rug Oushak Region
Country of Origin: West Anatolia, Ushak Region
Date of Origin: 17th Century
Well drawn Selendi rug with some condition problems. Outer border missing all around, cut sides amateurishly fixed. Pile low and partly heavily worn, some stitched holes.
A Hereke Silk Rug late 20th c.
Approximately 175 by 116cm and 220 by 139cm. Together with A Hereke silk and metal thread rug. Northwest Anatolia, late 20th century.
Antique Ottoman Embroidery Leather Document Case with the Tughra of Sultan Abd Al- Aziz
Of rectangular form embroidered in silver thread with the tughra of 'Abd al-'Aziz above crossed spears, pennants and other trophies framed within an undulating band with floral sprays, the back with a central motif of military paraphernalia and crescent moon cornerpieces, the interior of red morocco. A.H. 1277-93/A.D. 1861-76
Antique Sivas Carpet early 20th Century
Great coloring, Sivas carpets sometimes suffer from the overuse of the Sivas red. 344 x 292 cm. Eastern Central Anatolia. Of unusual coloring, this decorative carpet is original all around with remains of the kilim ends. Pile evenly low, partially worn.
Antique Ottoman Voided Silk Velvet and Metal Thread Çatma Bursa 1st half 17th C.
94 by 61cm. The design of rows of carnation palmettes was popular in late 16th century and 17th century ottoman textiles and is found in large panels probably intended as hangings, cushion covers and loom widths, such as the present example, which may have been intended for upholstery. Crimson silk velvet ground with offset rows of carnation fan palmettes.
Dazgiri/Dazkiri Rug, 18th century
Country of origin: South West Anatolia, Meander Valley
Size: 203 cm. x 160 cm.
Description: A rare village carpet from the region around Dazgiri with strong, bright colors such provenance. The composition with two mighty diamonds on the central axis is ultimately based on the "Ghirlandaio" carpets, while the ornamentation, and the coloring of the wide border zone resemble Melas. Sides, corners, and some flaws in the field have been professionally restored. Everything is now in very good condition.
Dosso Dossi's Allegory of Hercules circa 1535
Oil on canvas, 143 cm. x 144 cm.
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Christopher Alexander's Konya Rug Fragment
Central Anatolia, late 17th or early 18th century
Condition: Nominal light wear, backed.
Size: 6 ft. 2 in. x 2 ft. 6 in.
Notes: The design of this rug very clearly relates to that of a group of seventeenth century Karapinar rugs. The most classic is one in the Textile Museum. This, and others of the group, have medallions containing radiating floral sprays among which can be recognised tulips, while above and below are palmettes (For a discussion of the group please see May H. Beattie, "Some Rugs of the Konya Region", Oriental Art, vol. XXII, no.1, Spring, 1976, pp.60-76). The present rug has exactly the elements, combined with a secondary flower which appears on many rugs and is an allusion to the hyacinth floret. It also shares the main border with the Karapinar group. Yet that is where the similarity stops. The wool is long and fleecy, much longer and silkier than the normal Karapinar group. The structure is closer to some of the "yellow ground Konya" group with its natural wool warp, no depression, and generally four shoots of natural brown wefts. The colours are brilliant, rich and deep, enjoying sharp juxta positioning which, coupled with the very strong drawing, gives a great power to this carpet. Writing of this carpet Professor Alexander notes "It is this barbaric "thing", this actual essence of our human nature which is reached, plumbed, pierced when a carpet is made correctly".
Chinese rug, probably Beijing, circa 1930
Chinese rug, probably Beijing, about 1930
7 ft. x 4 ft. 1 in.
Beijing Chinese rugs, mid-20th Century
Circular diameter: 4 ft. 2 in.
Dazgiri/Dazkiri Rug 18th century
Herkunftsland: Südwestanatolien, Mäander-Tal,
Abmessungen: ca. 203 x 160 cm
Ein seltener Dorfteppich aus der Region um Dazgiri mit den kräftigen, leuchtenden Farben dieser Provenienz. Die Komposition mit zwei mächtigen Rauten auf der Mittelachse geht letztlich auf die „Ghirlandaio“-Teppiche zurück, während die Ornamentik und das Kolorit der breiten Bordürenzone die Nähe zu Melas zeigt. – Seiten, Ecken und einige Fehlstellen im Feld fachkundig restauriert, jetzt in sehr gutem Zustand.
Notes: The town of Dazkiri is administrative center of the Dazkiri district in Province of Afyonkarahisar in the Aegean region in Turkey
Country of origin: South West Anatolia, Meander Valley,
Dimensions: 203 x 160 cm
A rare village carpet from the region around Dazgiri with strong, bright colors such provenance. The composition with two mighty diamonds on the central axis is ultimately based on the "Ghirlandaio" carpets, while the ornamentation, and the colouring of the wide border zone proximity to Melas. -- Sides, corners, and some flaws in the field professionally restored, now in a very good condition.
I am not looking to buy or sell. I am reviewing this rug to place it in context and to use it as a teaching aid.
Demerci Kula carpet ex James A. Lucas Collection Oriental Rugs
New York, Fine Oriental and European Carpets
Property from the Estate of James A. LucasA Demerci Kula carpet, Central Anatolia,
New York 6,000—8,000 USD Session 1, 14 Dec 01 10:15 AM
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 9,000 USD
A Demerci Kula carpet, Central Anatolia, 18th century, oxidized browns, partially rewoven end guard stripes, reselvaged, rewoven corner, repileing, small scattered reweaves, approximately 10 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. 1 in. (3.20 by 1.55 m.)
Dosso Dossi's Allegory of Hercules
DOSSI, Dosso (b. ca. 1490, Ferrara, d. 1542, Ferrara)
Allegory of Hercules
Oil on canvas, 143 x 144 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Christopher Alexander's Konya Rug Fragment
Sale Title ORIENTAL RUGS AND CARPETS
Creator CENTRAL ANATOLIA, LATE 17TH OR EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Lot Title A KONYA DISTRICT CARPET FRAGMENT
Special Notice No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Lot Description A KONYA DISTRICT CARPET FRAGMENT
CENTRAL ANATOLIA, LATE 17TH OR EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Nominal light wear, backed .............................................
6ft.2in. x 2ft.6in. (188cm. x 76cm.)
Literature Christopher Alexander, A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art, New York and Oxford, 1993, pp.334-335.
Lot Notes The design of this rug very clearly relates to that of a group of seventeenth century Karapinar rugs. The most classic is one in the Textile Museum (H.McCoy Jones and Ralph Yohe, Turkish Rugs, Washington D.C., 1968, no.43, among other publications). This, and others of the group, have medallions containing radiating floral sprays among which can be recognised tulips, while above and below are palmettes (For a discussion of the group please see May H. Beattie, "Some Rugs of the Konya Region", Oriental Art, vol.XXII, no.1, Spring, 1976, pp.60-76). The present rug has exactly the elements, combined with a secondary flower which appears on many rugs and is an allusion to the hyacinth floret. It also shares the main border with the Karapinar group. Yet that is where the similarity stops. The wool is long and fleecy, much longer and silkier than the normal Karapinar group. The structure is closer to some of the "yellow ground Konya" group with its natural wool warp, no depression, and generally four shoots of natural brown wefts. The colours are brilliant, rich and deep, enjoying sharp juxtapositioning which, coupled with the very strong drawing, gives a great power to this carpet. Writing of this carpet Professor Alexander notes "It is this barbaric "thing", this actual essence of our human nature which is reached, plumbed, pierced when a carpet is made correctly".