Lot 45
  • 45

A 'Kara Memi' 'Karapinar' gallery carpet fragment, South Central Anatolia

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • wool pile
  • approximately 234 by 144cm; 7ft. 8in., 4ft. 9in.


acquired from Bud Holland, Chicago, 1979


Alexander, C., A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art The Color and Geometry of Very Early Turkish Carpets, New York, 1993, pp. 212 - 213, ill pp. 35 (black & white image) & 213.
Alexander, C., 'Early Turkish Rugs A New Way of Looking', Hali, April, 1991, issue 56, p. 118. RELATED LITERATURE:

An extremely similar example reproduced in black and white - Beattie. M., ‘Some Rugs of the Konya Region’, Oriental Art, London, Spring, 1976, vol. 22, pp. 66, fig. 11.

Catalogue Note

Of this piece, Alexander wrote 'This is perhaps my personal favorite of the carpets in the collection' Alexander, C., op cit, p. 212. There are two other comparable carpets, which were also in revered collections. The most direct comparison to the present lot is published in May Beattie’s article ‘Some Rugs of the Konya Region’, Oriental Art, London, Spring, 1976, vol. 22, pp. 66, fig. 11, and was formerly in the Murray-Graham Collection, its current whereabouts unknown. So in common are these two works in design and layout that one would initially think that they were either conceived as a pair, were in fact one in the same work, or made-up a longer gallery carpet together. However on closer inspection they do have differences, crucially in the half lozenges at the top and bottom of the field. In the black and white image in Beattie they are clearly a dark colour and the offered lot is ivory. Another example, also cited by Beattie, ibid, p. 66, fig. 10, is now in the Textile Museum, Washington, formerly in the collection of George Hewitt Meyer, printed in colour in Farnham. T., ‘In Pursuit of High Standards’, Hali, Summer 2015, issue 184, p.60, fig. 8. These three, Murray-Graham, Meyer and Alexander, all unquestionably share a similar cartoon and quite likely were made in close proximity. The Meyer example is referred to as ‘Kara Memi’, after the 16th century Ottoman court designer, and it is interesting to note that these three weaves seem to draw their inspiration from 'Star' Oushak carpets; compare for example the central lozenge in the offered lot with the minor axial medallions of lot 38, formerly in the Alexander collection. The horizontal, stylised, tulips a perhaps a more ‘Karapinar’ trait, one which repeats both within this group of works and others recorded. A similar colour composition can be seen in the former Alexander ‘Karapinar’ sold Sotheby’s London, 7 November 2017, lot 85.