Oriental Rugs Deep In Local Tradition And Religious Meaning
Anatolian carpets typically adhere strongly to local tradition and rich in religious meaning. Because of the restrictive nature of the Sunnite branch of Islam in many areas of Anatolia, most of these carpets will not have human figures or animals. Construction of older carpets was most commonly wool on wool with a Ghiordes or symmetrical knot. Renowned for prayers rugs, these were usually smallish rugs shaped like elongated rectangles.
The art knotted rugs was introduced to this area in the 11th century by the rulers of the Seliuk dynasty. Under the control of the Ottoman Empire, production peaked during the 15th and 16th centuries. Some of the more popular Turkish rugs are the Ushaks and Mamaluke”s. These are considered to be the major production carpets of the region. During the 17th century, the most popular minor production carpets were the “Transylvanoina Carpets”, named for the region of Transylvania then under Ottoman rule. Most likely, these carpets were made in the Anatolian city atoledo of Bergama and were traded in abundance in the Transylvanian region.
The end of the 17th century brought about a period of western influence including “Turkish Baroque” which exemplifies French influence. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire (1992), carpet production in this area, as well as most others, has been directed by the requests and tastes of the western market.
Products of both secular and religious carpets, this prayer rug was possibly woven in the area of Kirshehir, known for its use of the beautiful green color observable in the field. Derived from architectural terms, the mibrab (arch shape which appears on all prayer rugs in various interpretations) makes referenced to the decoration found in early mosques, surrounding the (?)(stone) which points to the city of Mecca.
This rug is a rare and beautifully drawn depiction of an upward-moving series of polychrome serrated leafs culminating at the peak of the mibrab in interesting latch-hook designs which are repeated again in the madder inner framing border. The “puzzle-piece” geometric elements in the ivory main border are a simplified version of another common design.
Although fabricated for religious purposes, the weaver”s uses of color, fanciful designs and the sheer energy built into this small space, makes it artistically profound in ways primarily reserved for secular, decorative rugs.