122
122

PROPERTY FROM THE ALEXANDER COLLECTION

An Oushak 'Lotto' carpet, West Anatolia
JUMP TO LOT
122

PROPERTY FROM THE ALEXANDER COLLECTION

An Oushak 'Lotto' carpet, West Anatolia
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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An Oushak 'Lotto' carpet, West Anatolia
with 'Anatolian' style field and 'Holbein' or 'Kufic' border design, reduced in length
approximately 270 by 230cm; 8ft. 10in., 7ft. 7in.
first half 16th century, possibly earlier
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Literature

Alexander, C., A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art The Color and Geometry of Very Early Turkish Carpets, New York, 1993, pp. 228 - 229, ill. pp. 187 (detail) & 229.

Eskanazi. J., Il tappeto orientale dal XV al XVIII secolo, London, 1982, pp. 29, 30, 72. tavaola. 7. 

Catalogue Note

'Lotto' carpets derive their name from the Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto, (c. 1480 – 1556), who depicted an example in ‘The Alms of St. Anthony’, 1542, Venice, although they also appear in earlier paintings. Whilst all these courtly works are termed ‘Lotto’ there are three differing types of sub design - ‘Kilim’, ‘Ornamented’ and ‘Anatolian’. The latter two examples are widely agreed to be the earliest and therefore with the least surviving examples: the present carpet is an ‘Anatolian’ design. This established through the various ‘Substrate’ geometric designs within the field, which are interestingly, in part, shared by the Tabriz gallery carpet, lot 89 also noted by Alexander,'Foreshadowing', op.cit., pp. 186 & 187. For a detailed discussion of the group and the differing designs see Robert Pinner’s article ‘Multiple and Substrate Designs in Early Anatolian & East Mediterranean Carpets’, Hali, 1988, issue 42, pp. 27 -30.

It is owing to these 16th century artworks that we can, with conviction, date these highly colourful and ornate works of art. A thorough study of ‘Lotto’ carpets which appear in such paintings was conducted by John Mills, ‘‘Lotto’ Carpets in Western Paintings, Hali, winter 1981, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 278 – 289. Of the many examples Mills cites one, in particular, is shown in the Annunciation, Master of the Retable of Santos - o - Novo, circa 1520, Museo Nacional del Arte, Mills. J., op cit, p. 279, fig. 2 and also in Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art, which shares both the ‘Anatolian’ field and also the ‘Kufic’ or ‘Holbein design border.  Another very similar example of an 'Anatolian' Lotto carpet, sharing the green 'Holbein' border and light blue inner border can be seen in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Sphuler. F., The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Carpets and Textiles, London, 1998, pp. 28 - 31, pl. 1. This example, also reduced in length, shares three columns of 'ornamented' motifs and lacks the madder and polychrome outer minor border, however the traced in and out leaf pattern found in the inner blue border of the Thyssen example is repeated in the outer madder border of the offered lot.

'the best and earliest 'Lotto' carpets display a brilliant red and luminous yellow as well as light blue and green tones' Spuhler. F., op.cit., p. 31.

Spuhler also states that this ‘Kufic/Holbein’ border design is typical of early 'Lotto' carpets and derives from Seljuk art work. The ‘Kufic’ calligraphy traces back to the 7th century and an example of the relationship between it and the carpet design can be seen in the 15th century ‘Scroll of Sultan Mehmet II’ in the Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul, E.H.2878, pictured Bağcı. S. & Tanindi. Z., Turks A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600 -1600, London, 2005, pl. 246. Interestingly 'Lotto' design seems to predate the Ottoman rumi-hatayi, courtly style, of Baba Nakkash and is derived, as with 'Holbein' carpets, from the Timurid Empire, Suriano. C. M., 'Patterns of Patronage, Hali, October/November, 1983, issue 83, p. 84. Examples of this particular genre of ‘Lotto’ are now in museum collections across the world, other than those previously cited, examples include: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, acc. nos. 1955-65-9, 1967-30-308 & 1943-40-68, illustrated C. G. Ellis., Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, London, 1988, pp. 22 - 29, pls. 6 - 8. Also a fragment in the Islamisches Museum, Berlin, which bears such a likeness to the offered example that it is possible that it was originally a part of it, acc. no. 1875,224. Such examples, of this type, rarely come to auction however a comparable 'Lotto' was sold Sotheby’s New York, 14 December 2001, lot 48.

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