The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
2008/153/1 Fragment of medallion carpet, knotted wool pile / felt, Ushak, Turkey, c. 1500-1650. Click to enlarge.

Fragment of medallion carpet from Turkey

Made
This rare fragment of a large knotted wool medallion carpet was woven in the town of Ushak in western Turkey in about 1600. From the beginning of the 1500s the town supported a vibrant carpet making industry in which organised workshops produced large works (around 6 x 3 m) for the local and export markets, both for sale and on commission for wealthy patrons. Two types of Ushak patterns emerged during this period, the 'star' and the 'medallion'.

The fragmented nature of this Ushak medallion …

Summary

Object No.

2008/153/1

Object Statement

Fragment of medallion carpet, knotted wool pile / felt, Ushak, Turkey, c. 1500-1650

Physical Description

This almost rectangular fragment of a large Ushak knotted wool medallion carpet is roughly stitched onto a black felt backing piece in order to keep the raw-edged components correctly aligned. The fragment is woven in the rich reds and blues characteristic of Ushak carpets and includes parts of two dark blue medallions, one central and one lateral, filled with mainly floral ornaments. Between the medallions, the red ground is decorated with a light-blue blossomed trellis.

Marks

No marks

Dimensions

Width

1050 mm

Production

Made

Notes

This is a fragment of a large medallion carpet made around 1600 in the town of Ushak in western Turkey. The carpet was woven on a warp of fine two ply white wool; the wool pile, which is very worn, is symmetrically knotted (Turkish knots) with two rows of plain tabby weave in red wool between each row of knots.

From the beginning of the 1500s, the town of Ushak supported a vibrant carpet making industry in which organised workshops produced large works (around 6 x 3 metres) for the local and export markets. These were made for sale and on commission for wealthier patrons. Two types of Ushak patterns emerged during this period, the 'star' and the 'medallion'. It is thought that the medallion style originated in Persia where it was transferred from book decoration to carpets (K. Erdmann, The History of the Early Turkish Carpet 1977: 36).

Ushak workshops maintained a division of labour in which several weavers worked on a single rug. Their development followed two earlier periods of weaving in western Turkey, the first by tribal nomads and the second by villagers working from home or within a cottage industry.

History

Notes

The Oriental Rug Society of New South Wales purchased the fragment from Nomadic Rug Traders in Pyrmont, Sydney in 2007 for donation to the Powerhouse Museum. The actual provenance of this piece is not known, although the vendor, Ross Langlands of Nomadic Rug Traders, advised that he bought it from a dealer in Bath in England who in turn probably bought it at auction.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the Oriental Rug Society of New South Wales, 2008

Acquisition Date

29 July 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

Fragment of medallion carpet from Turkey 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 January 2022, <https://ma.as/367281>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/367281 |title=Fragment of medallion carpet from Turkey |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 January 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}