Southwest Anatolia, 17th century
182 x 131 cm (6’ x 4’ 4”)
Condition: good according to age, pile low in places, one small repair at upper center, selvedges partially slightly damaged, no other restorations
Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool
This elegant red-ground coupled-column prayer rug (the coupled-column description was first used by May Beattie, in a 1968 article in the magazine Oriental Art), belongs to one of the many different genres of 17th and 18th century small-format rugs.
Mainly west Anatolian, they are loosely and somewhat conveniently grouped under the Transylvanian label, because so many of them have been preserved in the German Saxon churches of the region. The layout of these rugs has an architectural character, with permutations including two single columns, or two paired (coupled) columns or, most frequently as here, single columns flanking double columns, creating a tripartite field that is surmounted by a triple-gable.
Above the triple gable the ivory spandrels contain sickle-leaf forms that are almost zoomorphic in their stylisation, as well as many other familiar elements of the Ottoman floral repertoire. The field is surrounded by a particularly well-conceived border of hexagonal cartouches containing radiating carnation sprays.
The rug is in very good condition with original selvedges intact. On the basis of structural and chromatic correspondences with certain later (19th-century) Dazg?r? rugs from the Menderes valley region, it has been suggested that it was woven further south than the more usual attribution of such rugs to Ushak region workshops in Gördes or Kula.
The Transylvanian collections catalogued by Ionescu (Stefano Ionescu, Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, 2005) contain three closely similar pieces, cat. No 204206, all in the Black Church, Bra?ov. The present rug was acquired at Rippon Boswell in Wiesbaden in 1997.
Estimate: € 20000 - 30000