TURKISH CARPETS


Dealing with Turkish carpets we have to refer to Antique Anatolia and how carpets weaving tradition developed in this area in relation to the history of the territory.

Nemwrut mountain, Turkey  Maiden Tower and the old city silhuette in Istambul, Turkey  The Blue Mosque, Turkey

Dealing with Turkish carpets we have to refer to Antique Anatolia and how rug weaving tradition developed in this area in relation to the history of the territory. Starting from the 12th century the Seljuks, a population of Turkmen origin, invaded numerous parts of Asia and settled in Anatolia. In the history of Oriental carpets the Seljuk masterpieces are the most antique specimens. These carpets were very large and namely intended to decorate mosque interiors. The design is inspired by their religious function, especially in the border ornaments. Antique specimens are illustrated with geometrical motifs regularly arranged in a grid structure covering the whole field; they seldom display naturalistic or realistic patterns. Decorations were woven using the asymmetrical knot, resulting from a technical skill that still had to reach its climax.

Eight-point stars, rosettes, octagonal shapes and hooked polygons are the most frequently occurring motifs. They usually come in light hues standing out against mainly red and dark blue backgrounds.




Kars Turkish CarpetKars Turkish rug

 

Ottoman antique style turkish carpetOttoman antique style turkish rug

 

Ottoman antique style turkish carpetOttoman antique style turkish rug

 


In the 14th century this region was invaded by the Ottomans. It is during the Ottoman dynasty that the popular Ming and the Marby rug originated. Today the former is on display at Berlin’s National Museums and the latter is preserved in Stockholm. These two specimens marked the transition from the Seljuk to the Ottoman production.


Turkish carpet weaving reached its zenith right during the Ottoman empire. Numerous Turkish specimens are depicted in lots of renaissance paintings by both Italian and Flemish painters.


 

The Charity of St. Anthony by Lorenzo Lotto, 1540/1542Lorenzo Lotto, The Charity of St. Anthony (1540, 42)

 


The most important cotton carpets of this period were woven in Usciak’s workshops, where skilled weavers and masters learnt the complex techniques of the asymmetrical knot and become able to reproduce the central medallion designs typical of Persian carpets production. Usciak’s workshops produced numerous prayer design specimens which would have become the most widespread category of Turkish carpets. One of the most common symbols is the niche which can be single or double. The overall rich design is further embellished by a wide border filled with several variations of cartouches.
Already by the end of the 16th century a style characterized by bold decorations and floral motifs, known as ‘Turkish Baroque’, begun to thrive. Nowadays carpets are mainly produced in the areas of Ankara and Konya; the most popular are the Jerevans, the Kayseris, the Mekris, The Herekes, the Ghiordes, the Kulas, the Oushaks, the Yahyalis and the Yagcibedirs.