Large Antique Art and Craft Rug by Gavin Morton, Origin: Ireland, Circa: 1867 -1954 – The revival of the Persian carpet industry at the end of the 19th century lead to an interest in producing rugs of a similar style by European manufacturers. One of the most influential was Gavin Morton, an English designer who was inspired by the carpets of the Ottoman Empire. His designs were inspired by the large geometrics and colors of the Turkish rugs, but his designs are often considered to be bolder and on an even grander scale than the originals.
Gavin Morton lived from 1867-1954 and is best known for his work as head of the design department for Morton & Co, a textile factory in Scotland. He later opened workshops in Donegal, Ireland, where his designs became icons of the Arts and Crafts movement. His work is considered to be among some of the best examples of the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau eras.
The undulating, simple, geometric designs were a perfect accompaniment for Art Nouveau designs. Their tribal, homespun character led them to become favorites during the Arts and Crafts movement, too. This carpet is an excellent example of Morton’s work.
This Irish carpet has a design that is a larger scale than one finds in traditional Turkish carpets. One feature that draws the attention is the treatment of the border motifs. They are exceptionally large, and he used colors in a way that traditional Turkish carpets did not. For instance, the larger leaves and highly stylized lotus designs are colored in a way that you would not find in a Turkish carpet. This could be said for the colors in all the designs throughout the carpet.
This is a magnificent and striking antique rug for both the collector or interior designer. The bold colors are more brilliant than one typically finds in a traditional Turkish carpet. This piece has a unique place in carpet history. There were only a limited number of them made, and they are exceptionally rare. Morton’s artistic eye and creativity allowed his carpets to become some of the most collectible in the world, and it is not often that you have the opportunity to purchase one.