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Details & Cataloguing

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A Selendi 'bird' carpet fragment, Oushak region, West Anatolia

Provenance

Krikor Markarian, New York, 1999

Literature

Ellis, Charles Grant, Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1988, fig. 19b., p.58; formerly Piero Barbieri, Genoa, Italy.

Catalogue Note

This evocative Oushak white ground carpet design with the 'bird' motif (abstract foliate motif) creating a lattice which alternates with rosettes and angular leaves, is from a recognisable group of classical weavings from West Anatolia. The 'bird' motifs are typically yellow and it is more unusual to have red. There are variations of the border type used, and they include the cloudband border.

In the 16th century these Ottoman Oushak white ground pieces were recorded in the Habsburg courts, and were depicted in European paintings from the mid 16th to first half of 17th century, the earliest recorded being a portrait by Hans Mielich, from 1557. Together with contemporary 'Transylvanian' rugs they have survived in the Protestant churches of Transylvania (modern day Romania), having been given as gifts by wealthy Burghers.

Other comparables include two similar examples in The Joseph Lees Memorial Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, both European Turkey (Wallachia, Romania), 17th century. One with yellow 'bird' motifs, and similar border with all palmettes outward facing (202 by 198cm): Inv. 55-65-11, and another smaller example (175 by 130cm): Inv.43-28-2, with palmettes in outward orientation in the side borders and inward in the top and bottom borders, see Ellis (1988), nos. 16 & 17, pp.48-59.    

Ellis (1988): Ellis, Charles Grant, Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1988, nos. 16 & 17, pp.48-59.

Rugs and Carpets

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