15
JUMP TO LOT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Howard Hodgkin, Portrait of the Artist

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London

Oushak, West Anatolia
'MEDALLION' CARPET FRAGMENT
wool, pile
mounted: 242 by 163cm; 7ft 11in by 5ft 4in; textile visible approximately 235 by 158cm; 7ft 9in by 5ft 2in.
late 16th century
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Catalogue Note

Medallion Oushak carpets are perhaps the best known of the group; often bought by European nobleman and churches they have been well documented in European paintings between the 16th - 18th century. In 1983 Julian Raby suggested that the design derives from 15th century Ottoman and Persian manuscripts, Suriano. C.M., ‘Oak leaves and Arabesques’, Hali, May/June 2001, issue 116. Raby traces the origins of the design to Mehmet II (1432 – 1481) where the ‘broad oak leaf’ was adopted for the medallion, a variation of this design can be seen in the 16th century Iznik tile within this sale, lot 17, and in the Sultan Ahmet mosque, Istanbul, Bilgi. H., The Ömer Koç Iznik Collection, Istanbul 2015, pp. 46 & 47, fig. 11. Further comparison can be seen in an Iznik dish, within the Koç collection, which exemplifies the relationship between Ottoman ceramics and this group, Bilgi, ibid, pp. 306 – 309. 

Three possible reasons for the design are suggested by Friedrich spuhler. One they denoted the positioning of a nobleman’s throne. Another the carpet would be centred beneath the dome of a mosque so that the light would fall onto the medallion. The third that the 'lotus' medallion is a metaphor for Buddha and enlightenment. For further information on the group see Sphuler. F., The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of Carpets and Textiles, London, 1998, pp. 44 – 51This carpet fragment, which lacks the border and part of the field, is indicative of an earlier example of the group; in keeping with Spuhler’s theory  'the medallion is always a slightly ogival form: the earlier the design, the more precisely it depicts a circle' Sphuler. F., op cit, p. 46. Also in the use of colouring 'The best quality medallion Oushak carpets … are the ones with yellow floral designs on a dark blue ground and with rich red and blue medallions. The ones with a red background always have dark blue medallions and are of higher quality. … Deep red, dark blue and yellow are the predominant colours; green and blue appear as secondary colours and black is used on the contours.' Oktay. A., One Thousand Years of Turkish Carpets, Istanbul, 1998, p.107.

Two medallion carpets which share such a colour scheme; the first is in the MAK collection, Vienna, Völker. A., Die orientalischen Knüpfteppiche im MAK, Vienna, 2001, pp 78 – 81, cat no. 14 and the other is in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection, museum number T.71-1914. The MAK example has a further similarity in the yellow tracery of the central quatrefoil blossom and the detailing within the two pendants. The Victoria and Albert shares highly similar colour combination within the medallion.

Howard Hodgkin, Portrait of the Artist

|
London