- Additional information
Weavers in Oushak were the first to produce Anatolian carpets of size for the European market as early as the sixteenth century. These carpets were found in Christian churches, palaces, and the homes of the well-to-do. The great artists of the time, such as Hans Holbein the Younger, and Lorenzo Lotto included Oushak rugs and carpets in their paintings. Oushaks from that era now appear only in museums and very rarely at auction. Very little is produced at the present time in Oushak that bears resemblance to pieces such as yours and earlier.
At the time your rug was woven, the population of Oushak had grown to numbers that allowed the weaving industry to thrive, with looms more numerous than any other city in Turkey. The weaving was done entirely by women and girls, most of whom were Mohammedans. Though they lived principally in private homes, they were under the direction of large firms, who furnished the wool as well as the patterns, which were in accordance with European and American demands. Important distinctions existed between the different grades of these rugs. Some were known as “Turkish Kermans”, in which Persian designs were frequently introduced, others, of finer workmanship, were formerly known as “Yapraks”. They were distinguishable by their colors of red, green, and blue, of which only two as a rule were seen in a single rug, and were massed to produce striking effects. The construction of carpets such as yours was often quite coarse, but the wool was of excellent quality, with piles thick and luxuriant. The lasting quality was so exceptional, that Oushaks were used until recently to cover the floors of the larger mosques of Istanbul.Of course, as we have said, the most striking attribute of older Oushaks is the unusual range of delightful colors – many of which are not found in any other rug classification.