View Our Collection of Antique Spanish Alcaraz Rugs
Alcaraz Rugs – The history of antique rug weaving in Spain is centuries old, and is especially complex. Due to the proximity of Spain to the North Africa – and, by extension, the broader Middle East and Oriental world, by the Middle Ages, there was already a considerable deal of Eastern influence throughout the country. Eventually, large portions of Southern Spain would be governed as part of Islamic empires, which, in turn, would import more and more of their culture into Spain. The influence of the Moors over Spanish life reached an apex in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when vast swaths of Spain were governed from North Africa.
After the expulsion of the Moors from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492, the production of carpets in Spain turned away from designs of Oriental inspiration to a more classically derived Renaissance European style. The precise area of manufacture of this new type during the sixteenth century is unclear from the historical sources, but experts have long attributed them to Alcaraz in southern Castile. Such “Alcaraz” carpets tend to have allover designs style based on acanthus vinescrolls, sometimes with animal feature worked into the details as well. The range of colors also became more restricted.