Rare and Collectible Museum Caliber Antique Egyptian Cairene Rugs

Antique Cairene Rugs – Under the Ottoman Turkish Empire in the sixteenth century, a new style of carpet production emerged in Cairo, Egypt under carefully controlled court patronage. Closely related to classical Persian carpets, such antique carpets of Cairene origin display sinuous curvilinear designs of arabesque vinescrolls and palmettes organized in a medallion format.

The coloration of antique Cairene rugs tends to be subdued in tone and range, allowing attention to focus on the grace and delicacy of the details. Indeed, it is the precise weaving of the detail elements that elevates the Cairene style to such heights.

Egypt was not historically a center for rug production, although beautiful textiles have been produced there since at least the third millennium BCE. However, when the Mamluks rose to power, the arts flourished and exquisite carpets, glass and metalwork were made under their rule. Now these antique rugs are prized for their beauty and rich history.

Mamluk means “to own.” The Mamluks were Turkish slaves who served under Arab Muslim rulers. Mamluks were trained, converted to Islam and freed, serving in prominent military and political roles. Over time, they gained much power, eventually overthrowing the Ayyubids in 1250 and establishing the Mamluk Sultanate. They were fierce warriors who repelled the Mongols and defeated the Crusaders. They were eventually conquered by the Ottomans in 1517 in Egypt.

View our current selection of Egyptian antique Cairene rugs below:

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