Examples of Turkish Oushak / Ushak Rugs & Carpets
Oushak, Ushak, Usak is in Northwest Turkey.
Oushak Area Map
Antique Ushak Medallion Carpet 16th century from the Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul
Ushak Medallion Carpet
Western Anatolia, (Izmir-Gure) 16th century
Size: 389 x 196 cm
From: Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul.
Warp: Z2S wool, ivory dyed red at top and bottom
Weft: Z wool, 2-3 shoots, 2 wavy, lazy lines (sar-e-put)
Knots: 2 Z, Sy 1 V 37 H 26 V x H 962 Knots/dm2
Sides: Z wool selvage over 4 pairs of warps with additional weft thread red.
Antique Ushak Medallion Carpet 16th Century from the Ulu Mosque Divrigi
I am content for the process of discovery to stretch out for years but every now and then I trip over something important. One idea that I had been roughing out over the years was the relationship between Ushak Medallion Carpet and the Persianate floral form field decorations. I was standing in front of Ushak Medallion Carpet at Jim Dixon’s when I finally put it together. We can come up with a very accurate relative dating system. Put simply the key is the minor field floral forms. The closer they are to the flowers of Persian art in the 1540s the older they are. To me it indicates that these are copied from Persian Art. Walter Denny suggests that there is a transitory tile phase where carpets are always copied from tile nd never from paper.
Ushak Medallion Carpet
Western Anatolia, (Usak) 16th century
Inv. No: A-61
Size: 633 x 310 cm
From: Ulu Mosque, Divrigi (Sivas)
Warp: Z2S wool, ivory-natural brown
Weft: Z wool, two shoots, natural brown, wavy
Knots: 2 Z, Sy 1 V 42 H 32 V x H 1344 Knots/dm2
Star Ushak Carpet 16th century
Oushak ‘medallion’ early 16th century
An Oushak ‘medallion’ carpet fragment
292 by 189 cm., 9ft. 7in. by 6ft. 3in.
Warp: Wool, Z2S, natural ivory
Weft: 2 shoots, madder wool, Z
Pile: Wool, symmetrical knot, Z2
Sidecords: Not original
Ends: Not original
Large medallion Oushak rugs constitute one of the best-known and most handsome groups of Ottoman carpets, and testimony to the success of the design is the fact that it remained in favour from the second half of the fifteenth century until at least the late 18th century. As in so many areas of the decorative arts, however, it is the earlier examples of the group which are the most visually successful, in terms of their overall composition, the rendition of the design, and their use and range of colour.
There is little doubt that this magnificent carpet fragment represents an early example within the group, dating from the early 16th Century, and comparable to other more well known blue ground medallion Ushak carpets such as those in the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid, the al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait and a fragment in the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin. All of these related early examples are dated to this period based on parallels in other areas of Islamic art. As Julian Raby argued at the 4th International Conference on Oriental Carpets, held in London in 1983, the design cartoons for the earliest large-medallion Ushak carpets were probably inspired by the blind-tooled medallions from the outer covers of Ottoman manuscripts dating from the 1460s. These medallions closely match those of such carpets from this group, especially in the drawing of their scrolling and interlocking vegetal forms. In the present lot these motifs are particularly delicate and beautiful. In his article in Hali 116 (May-June 2001), Carlo Suriano further explores the parallels between manuscript covers and Ushak medallions, pointing to the influence of Turkmen artists from Tabriz, who were moved to Istanbul by Mehmed II Fatih in 1473. The influence of these scribes on the bindings of royal manuscripts can be seen in the new rhomboid shapes of the pendants flanking the medallions, a style replicated in the design of the pendants flanking the medallion in the Sylvester fragment, and the other early carpets of this group.
It is not surprising that for the last three decades this carpet has occupied a prominent position in David Sylvester’s homes. The carpet was acquired from the Parisian art dealer, Samuel Tarica. At least one other great early medallion Ushak carpet passed through Tarica’s hands: the Czartoryski-Altunian Ushak on a red ground with a ‘Kufic’ border, now in the Wher collection in Switzerland.
For related fragments of a blue ground 16th Century Ushak medallion carpet see Eskenazi et al., Il Tappeto Orientale dal XV al XVIII Secolo, Milan 1982, pl. 13, p. 78. For a related example at auction, see ‘The Cassirer Ushak Medallion Carpet’ Sotheby’s, London, 24th April 1996, lot 253. Like the Sylvester fragment, these examples share the comparatively rare colour combination of a madder medallion on a blue ground with yellow flowers.
Oushak Medallion Carpet 17th century
West Anatolia, Seventeenth Century
Warp: Wool, Z2, tan, natural.
Weft: Wool tan to reddish tan (dyed), Z1, 2 shoots alternating.
Pile: Wool, Z2, symmetrical knots 0 to 40-degree alternate warp depression,
Density: 7H by 9 – 10 V
Sides: Not original.
Ends: Top up to 3/8s inch red Z2 wool, weft faced plain weave with traces of a blue wool stripe, bottom not original,
Size: 18ft. by 9 ft. 8 on.
Colors: Turkey red, dark blue, black pale yellow, sapphire, medium blue green, deep green, ivory, salmon, light blue, spruce.
Oushak Medallion Carpet 17th century
West Anatolia 17th century, oxidized browns, rewoven end, rewoven areas, approximately 26ft. by 10ft. 8in. (7.92 by 3.25m.)
Uschak Carpet Fragment 2nd half 17th century
Approximately: 92 x 54 cm
Note: I was drawn to this because of the border. The remnant of the field is ordinary but the border is spectacular. 2nd half 17th century
Medallion-Uschaks. The fragment is part of the right border with a strip of the field. — Some holes, sewn on canvas and framed.
Late 16th century Oushak Rug
West Anatolia, late 16th century. Minor restorations to medallion, field and either side border. 4 ft. 6 in. by 3 ft. 6 in. (137 by 107 cm)
Warp; Wool, Z2S, alternate warp slightly to moderately depressed, ivory, lower end dyed salmon.
Weft: Wool, Z1 2 shoots, red.
Pile: Wool, symmetrical.
Density: 9 -11 h and 12 – 15 v.
Sides: Not original.
Ends: 2 in. red kilim.
Colors: Cinnabar, indigo, azure, chamois, pewter brown, teal, blue, deep raspberry, willow, peacock blue.
Ushak Medallion Carpet, 18th century
Country of Origin: Turkey
Date of Origin 17th Century
Having an indigo pendant medallion on the crimson field with indigo stylized vinery and corner blue-black spandrels within the indigo stylized floral border
Approximately 11 ft. 8 in. x 7 ft. 6 in. (356 cm. x 229 cm.)
Ushak-fragment 17th century Nagel
Title An Ushak-fragment, ANATOLIA, 17th ct.
Size 203 x 158 cm
Ushak Saph Fragment 17th century Rippon-Boswell
Description: Ushak Saf Fragment
Origin: West Anatolia, 17th century
Size: ca. 481 x 155 cm
Notes on Condition
Originally made in large numbers, not many of these prayer rugs from the mosques of Western Anatolia have survived. Visible traces of age and wear, some holes; expertly mounted on canvas.
A late 17th century West Anatolian Coupled-Column Prayer Rug Probably Oushak
Late 17th century partially oxidized browns, minor areas of repiling,
Warp: Wool, Z2S, ivory, some ivory/light brown mix
Weft: Wool, Z1, 3-6 shoots, red
Pile: Wool, symmetrical knot Silk, some ivory, blue and pale yellow knots Density: 8-9 horizontal, 10-11 vertical
Sides: Wool, 4 cords of 2 warps each, overcast in blue and smaller bands of red and brown with some red warp threads showing
Ends: Upper – N in. red kilim, then D in. blue kilim followed by warp fringe
Lower – D in. blue kilim, warp fringe
Colors: Medium to deep paprika, lapis, medium to deep teal blue, birch, medium to deep seal brown, caramel, aubergine, pewter brown
18th century Ushak Saph
Antique Oushak Saph, West Anatolia, circa 18th Century. Approximately 12 ft. 6 in. by 7 ft. 4 in. (3.81 m. by 2.23 m.)
Warp: Wool, Z2S, alternate warp moderately to strongly depressed, ivory
Weft: Cotton, 1Z or 2Z, 2 shoots, red
Pile: Wool, symmetrical knot
Density: 5-6 horizontal, 7-8 vertical
Sides: Not original
Ends: Not original
Colors: Cayenne, teal, azure, lapis, pomegranate, peacock blue, Copenhagen blue, toffee, Wedgewood, Mahogany, maize, coral, old rose, sage, buff, olive, oat, silver blue, khaki brown, putty, pale raspberry, forrest green
18th century Ushak Saph
West Anatolia, 18th century. Scattered rewoven areas, rewoven guard stripes. 20 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 5 in. (625 by 592 cm)
Warp; Wool, Z2S, natural light brown.
Weft: Wool, Z, 4 shoots natural brown.
Pile: Wool, symmetrical knot.
Density: 7 – 9 h and 8 – 10 v.
Sides: Not original.
Ends: Warp fringe.
Colors: Ivory, pumpkin, blue, dark blue, dark brown.
Oushak Prayer Rug Mid-19th century
Approximately 4ft. 8in. by 3ft. 9in. (1.42 by 1.14m.)
Mid-19th century remnants of original flatweave, oxidized charcoals with repiling, reselvaged, repiling, small reweaves,
Oushak/Ushak carpet late 19th century
An Ushak carpet, WESTERN ANATOLIA, late 19th century. losses to pile, repiled areas.
Size 390 x 320 cm
390 x 320 cm
Ushac (Oushak/Ushak) Carpet circa 1900
A Ushac carpet, WESTERN ANATOLIA, about 1900, losses to pile.
Size 366 x 279 cm
Oushak/Ushak carpet circa 1900
An Ushak rug, ANATOLIA, ca. 1900, losses to pile.
Size 247 x 154 cm
Rudnick Kazak Rug Through The Collector’s Eye
A Kazak rug, Southwest Caucasus,
Second quarter 19th century,
illegibly dated, oxidized browns, remnants of original kilim ends, missing outer side guard stripes, machine-made overcast sides, minor foldwear with some repiling, small repaired slit,
Approximately 8 ft. 9 in. by 4 ft. 9 in. (2.67 by 1.45m.)
This splendid Kazak belongs to a select sub-group of 19th century rugs featuring distinctive ivory stepped reserves enclosing charming animals and birds, supported by two rows of polychrome Memling guls. Other examples include one previously in the Yohe Collection,
All related rugs share the same red ground ‘S’ gul motif borders whereas this example displays a polychrome hooked shield palmette border often associated with Karachopt rugs such as Sotheby’s, New York, 27 April 2000, lot 52, also from the Rudnick Collection and illustrated in Bailey & Hopkins (op. cit.), no. 18.
The inscribed date on the present lot is usually interpreted as reading 1249 A.H. (1833 A.D). See: Hali, Issue 69, pp. 147-8 for a full discussion of the classification of this rare group of rugs.
Angora Oushak/Ushak carpet early 20th century
approximately 11ft. 5in. by 8ft. 8in. (3.48 by 2.64m.)
early 20th century color run, moth damage, stains, losses to outer guard stripes
Oushak carpet early 20th century
Approximately 17ft. 3in. by 13ft. 3in. (5.26 by 4.04m.)
Early 20th century minor fold wear, small patch one end,
Ushak ‘Turkey’ carpet circa 1900-20
Ushak ‘Turkey’ carpet, west Anatolia about 1900-20,
14ft.10in. x 11ft.4in. 4.52m. x 3.45m, Slight wear in places, some light water staining.
Antique Oushak Saf fragment, West Anatolia, circa 1820
Ushak Saf fragment, West Anatolia, ca. 1820. Given the image the warps run horizontally. On the bottom bits of the lower selvage have survived. On the left probably only the border is missing. On the right and on the top much more may be missing. It appear
Size 310 x 332 cm
Early 16th century Oushak “Lotto”
An Oushak “Lotto” rug, West Anatolia, early 16th century, remnants of original kilim ends, oxidized browns, rewoven side guard stripes, sides fraying, small reweaves, scattered repiling, approximately 5 ft. 11 in. by 3 ft. 7 in. (1.80 by 1.09 m.)
Warp: wool, Z2S, natural ivory
Weft: wool, Z-spun, 2 shoots, red; 1 inch blue at upper end
Pile: wool, symmetrical knot
Density: 9-10 horizontal, 12-13 vertical
Sides: not original
Ends: remnants of blue kilim
Colors: madder red, deep blue, light blue, blue-green, yellow, ivory, walnut
Lorenzo Lotto, in his 1542 painting of St. Anthony for the church of S. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice (See above), depicted a rug almost identical to that offered here. See Coletti, Luigi, Lotto, Bergamo, 1953, fig. 189 for an illustration of the entire picture, or Mills, John, “‘Lotto’ Carpets in Western Paintings,” Hali, vol.3, no. 4, fig. 11 for a detail showing the ‘Lotto’ rug. For years referred to as ‘arabesque’ rugs, then ‘Holbein’ rugs with which they differed in field pattern but shared border designs, in the 1950s they became known as “Lotto” rugs. This was due to their appearance in a number of western artists’ works and in particular Lotto, with probably the best known being the Family Group, painted in 1547 and now in The National Gallery, London, see Mills, John, op.cit., pl. 12, p. 280. The earliest Western depiction of a “Lotto” rug is in the 1516 work of Sebastiano del Piombo, Cardinal Bandinello Sauli, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., for a detail, see Mills, ibid, fig. 1. In order for these Eastern rugs to be included in Western paintings, their production in Turkey most likely began in the 15th century. For a thorough discussion of the history of early Turkish carpets see Franses, Michael and Pinner, Robert, “Turkish Carpets in the Victoria and Albert Museum: The ‘Classical’ Carpets of the 15th to 17th Centuries,” Hali, v. 6, no. 4, pp. 357-381.
The “Lotto” group of carpets have field designs of three varying types, classified by Charles Grant Ellis as ‘Anatolian’, ‘Ornamented’ and ‘Kilim,’ see Ellis, C. G., “The ‘Lotto’ Pattern as a Fashion in Carpets,” Festschrift fur Peter Wilhelm Meister, Hamburg, 1975. The present rug has an ‘Anatolian’ field pattern that is enclosed by a Kufesque border. Here, the Kufesque border is open to the outside of the rug, as found in the earliest depiction of a “Lotto” rug, the Sebastiano del Piombo work cited, as well as in the Lotto painting of St Anthony previously mentioned. “Lotto” rugs with the Kufesque border are generally accepted by scholars as being the earliest of the group as they appear in the earliest paintings. There are around 14 “Lotto” rugs extant that feature an ‘Anatolian’ field and open Kufesque border as in the lot offered here, with examples in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Please see a listing of published examples below and Eskenazi, John, Il tappeto orientale dal XV al XVIII secolo, London, 1981, p. 54, footnote 12 for a listing of similar rugs and fragments known to date.
While all of the rugs cited and the present rug share field and major border designs, there are differences in the flanking guard borders and color of the major border. Here, a light blue inner border with a red and yellow ribbon, and a wider red outer border enclosing an unusually spacious meander vine punctuated by flowerheads flank the blue-green open Kufesque border. This appears to be the only rug example with this combination of borders and it is precisely this configuration of borders that are depicted in Lotto’s painting of St Anthony.