Analysis On 17th Century Large Turkish Oushak Rug #47072
Oushak in western Turkey, has been a carpet weaving center since the late 15th Century, making it the longest continuous rug producing city anywhere. The medallion carpets in particular, of these Oushak rugs, were first woven in the 16th Century under influences from Persian medallion design rugs and continued through the 17th and 18th centuries evolving in drawing and weave, but retaining their individuality.
The “Turkey Red” fleet. With dark blue palmette tracery, centers an early hexagonal medallion and convex fractioned end medallions, with a focus on a quatrefoil created from 4 split arabesques. The four half secondary medallion at the sides have retained their shape, unlike many contemporary examples in which they have become distorted. Originally the main medallion was circular on an ellipse pointed at the two ends but over the time the sides flattened out, as here.
The palmettes of the brown border are grouped around a central large one, a layout founded in the late 17th Century and thereafter. Earlier pieces employ less formed groupings of elements and still earlier pieces, those of the mid 16th Century, often still Kufic design elements from still earlier “Holbein” or “Lotto” rugs.
Because Oushak has always been a commercial center, weary for both domestic and export markets, looms for very large carpets were set up and the weavers could create pieces up to 20’ x 40’. The foundation is all wool and the Turkish(symmetric) knotting is moderately course. Although of large size, this carpet was woven quite rapidly. The dye shops of Oushak were able to process large quantities of yarn employing madder exclusively for the red, indigo for the blues and weed for the yellow. Large quantities meant inform colors and these antique rugs are known for their consistent dye palettes and unfading tonalities. The reds, in particular, as here, have remained vivid after three or four centuries.
Turkish Oushak rugs add luxury and extravagance
Large Oushak and Smyrna carpets can best be appreciated in spacious interiors where the expansive drawing and bold over scale motives are given plenty of breathing room. Carpets such as that one furnished the places of Turkishsultans and madder, English country houses and America’s colonial homes, working well with oriental cushion based décor, and with Western hardwood seating and table furniture. The effect of this early 17th Century large Oushak carpet is one, of luxury and extravagance with a story underlying of historical authenticity.
This sublime 17th century Oushak carpet showcases a fantastic medallion composition flanked by octofoil stars. The lavish shield-like medallions display smooth curving quatrefoils, turtle-like pendants and lush emerald green swaths that are surrounded by protective latched appendages. These distinctive Persianate medallions were adapted long ago and depicted in Turkish rugs as far back as the Renaissance. These precisely aligned medallions illustrate the principle of infinite rapport with precise lines of double symmetry. This richly colored carpet displays a vibrant red ground adorned with intricate blue scrolls. The wide, monumentally long field is enclosed by elaborate borders that display wild color variations and floral motifs accompanied by tribal lozenges. Worthy of a prized collection, this antique Oushak carpet is a stylistic forerunner that hints at the long history of this beloved art form.