Beautiful Early Antique Egyptian Cairene Rug, Country Of Origin: Egypt, Circa Date: 16th century – This amazing carpet was created in Cairo almost five centuries ago and is in exceptional condition for its age. Very few carpets of this age are still in existence and even fewer that are so exquisitely preserved. This antique carpet is more than likely of Mamluk origin, but when it was created, the Ottoman Turks were establishing their power. This carpet may be from this time of transition of power. It has many of the hallmarks of other known Mamluk carpets. The most notable characteristic is the use of only a limited color palette. The carpets feature a central design that is subdivided into sections and surrounded by scrollwork, leaves, and florals. It uses a high level of detail throughout the design, including shading, to give the shapes depth and character. It shows a high level of design and planning, which is indicative of one of the formal carpet weaving centers in Cairo.
Although this Egyptian carpet stands out as the work of the Cairo workshops, it is important to note that it contains several Persian influences in the design. For instance, it uses the lotus flower and several floral motifs that are typically seen in Persian carpets of the time, too. It mixes these with other motifs that are characteristically Egyptian. This reminds us of the level of trade and cross-cultural influence that was present at the time. Even though each carpet weaving center developed its characteristic style, the art, as a whole, did not develop in isolation.
This Cairene carpet has a high knot count and shows an incredible level of skill. It is not only a beautiful piece for its design and colors, but it is one of historical importance. It is an excellent example of the pieces produced by the carpet works in Cairo during a time of political transition and power transfer. This carpet is an extraordinary and rare example of medieval artwork that deserves a place where it can be preserved for generations to come.