Magnificent Antique 17th century Transylvanian Rug, Country of Origin: West Anatolia, Circa Date: 17th Century – This breathtaking Transylvanian rug from the 17th century is a rare find, and this one is exceptionally well-preserved for its age. The striking colors and bold geometrics of this rug give it a character and reflect a style that takes you back a few centuries to a place that time almost forgot. This piece of Islamic art only survived due to the efforts of Protestant and Saxon Churches.
Transylvanian rugs have classic 17th-century Ottoman designs, such as this piece. This particular rug is known as a “double niche” rug. It consists of two halves that mirror each other. Sometimes, as with this piece, both halves are not mirrored exactly but show slight variations. This rug has a high knot count that allows for a highly-detailed design that can be seen in the borders of the rug.
Transylvania was located on the Silk Road, a set of ancient trade routes that once connected the Eastern and Western worlds. Anatolian carpets, such as these, were highly desirable commodities. They were appreciated for their monetary value and were a symbol of wealth. They were often given as political gifts, or to people with a high rank in the church. As such, many of them were donated to churches as gifts. This led to their exceptional states of preservation.
Few rugs of this type were preserved through time, but these few fortunate pieces were cared for and kept in excellent condition. At the end of the 19th century, Turkish rugs became fashionable in Europe. During lean years, many parishes sold their valuable masterpieces. That is the story of the handful of surviving Transylvanian rugs that we have today.
The bold and beautiful colors of this antique rug are traditional for this area of the world and time in history. They contrast yet blend together in a harmonious way that is awe-inspiring. The rug has both a formal yet tribal feel. The design was carefully laid out, which demonstrates a high level of artistic skill. This highly collectible piece would make the perfect addition to a formal room setting.
It could also be hung on the wall in a space with architecture of a grand scale. Many times, the churches that kept these pieces had them rolled up in storage and would then bring them out and hang them on the walls for special occasions. Regardless of how you decide to display it, this rug is an excellent addition to any collection and a rare piece of carpet history.