West Anatolia, first half 18th century
219 x 162 cm (7’ 2” x 5’ 4”)
Condition: very good according to age, corroded brown, outer side border missing, pile low in places, some old repairs
Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool
This rare and unusual west Anatolian Bergama variant, possibly from the first half of the 18th century, is of the arch, column and tulip panel type often associated with lightly later Central Anatolian Ladik rugs, as well as the more conventional 18th century West Anatolian coupled-column genre.
The design is bilaterally symmetrical around the centre of the rug, and the confidently drawn abstracted columns, with their scattering of double hooked motifs in blue on an ivory ground, stand out in strong contrast to the red ground of the six niches that they frame. Although many design features, in particular the well-balanced rosette border and the Ladik tulip panels might suggest a Central Anatolian origin, the colours point to Western Turkey.
The rug was acquired at Rippon Boswell in 1998 (HALI 101, p. 133). It closely resembles an arguably slightly later rug (one of the very few Turkish rugs with an in-woven date) in the Joseph V. McMullan Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Joseph V. McMullan, Islamic Carpets, 1965, pl. 92).
Together with the McMullan rug and an example sold by Lefevre in London in February 1980, it is arguably best of type in this design group, later examples of which can be stiff and unappealing. Its intense colours closely match those of the squarer McMullan rug, which is dated 1182 AH (1768 CE). The Lefevre rug, while equal in draughtsmanship, had a more subdued palette and was dated to the mid-19th century.
A comparable fourth example (dated c. 1800) from the collection of Van Cortland Manor in Historic Hudson Valley was offered by Sothebys New York in December 1991, but that was cut and reduced through the centre, eliminating the central panel.
Estimate: € 20000 - 30000