Learn About European Knotted Pile Carpets
European Knotted pile Carpets – Knotted-pile carpets from Eastern Europe and Russia have for years been referred to as “Ukrainian,” with their flat-woven counterparts being “Bessarabian,” and their precise origins remaining unknown. Carpet production in Russia is believed to have begun under Peter the Great (1682-1725) in the Imperial Tapestry Factory near St. Petersburg.
the European Knotted pile carpets and flat-woven rugs were woven there during the 18th and 19th centuries most often in the court-favored “French” style. (Please see Sherrill, Sarah B., Carpets and Rugs of Europe and America, New York, 1996, pp. 280-289).
Carpet weaving in Russia flourished during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796) who commissioned carpets for many of her palaces. These carpets often featured a deep brown-black ground and a dense overall floral design, as in the carpet offered here and that from Leeds Castle in Kent sold Sotheby’s London, 16 October 1996, lot 179.
The floral cartouche design and vivid coloring of the present carpet closely resembles Victorian needlepoint carpets that were produced throughout England and Europe, including Russia, in the 19th century, for two examples see Sherrill, ibid., pls. 117 and 299. The trompe-l’oeil draping border of this carpet recalls those found on the earliest Louis XIV Savonnerie table carpets, illustrating the continuum of fascination with French style by the Russian nobility.