Antique Turkish Rugs

Antique Turkish Rugs weaving in Anatolia first began with the arrival of the Turkish tribes from Central Asia, who settled in this region. Therefore, Anatolian rugs form a branch of ethnic antique Turkish rugs.

Some of the oldest examples known are the eighteen surviving pieces women by the Selcuk Turks in the 13 the century.

The motifs in these pieces represented in stylized floral and geometrical patterns in several basic colorsand were woven in Sivas, Kayseri and the capital Konya.In this century, Bergama and Ushak became important weaving centers in western Anatolia.

The 16 th century saw the beginning of the second successful period of Anatolian rug-weaving. The rugs from thisperiod are called “Classial Ottoman Rugs”.

The reason these rug are called ” Palace rug” is that the design and colors would have been determined by the palace artists and then sent to the weaving centers.

This method was similar to that used in the ceramic tile production of that period.

The designs, which consisted of twisting branches, leaves, and flowers such as tulip, carnations and hyacinths, are woven in a naturalistic style and establish the basic composition of the rug.This style was continued in other regions and can be seen in Turkish rugs today.

In the 16 th 17 th and 18th century, Gordes (Ghordes), Kula, Milas, Ladik, Mucur, Kirsehir, Bandirma and Canakkale (Dardanelles) Gained importance as rug-weaving centers, along with Ushak and Bergama.

The rugs woven in some of these regions are known as ” Transylvanian Rugs” because they were foundin churches in Transylvania.

Transylvania continues to be the repository of the richest and best preserved corpus of Antique Turkish Rugs outside the Islamic world.

Almost 400 examples attributable to the golden period of Ottoman weaving from the mid 15th to the end of the 18th century survived here including most of the classical groups such as Ghirlandaio, Holbein, Ushak, Lotto, Selendi, Transylvanian, Kula and Ghiordes.

Attempts to explain the presence of so many Ottoman rugs in the Lutheran Churches of the Saxon community in Transylvania have so far resulted in theories that range from the incomplete to the eccentric.

The churches and museums of Transylvania safeguard the greatest legacy of small-format Ottoman rugs in the Western world: almost four hundred examples including ‘Holbeins’, Ushaks, ‘Lottos’,‘Selendis’ and ‘Transylvanians’, many in astonishingly good condition, attributable to the golden period of Turkish weaving from the mid-15th to the mid-18th century.

No complete explanation has ever been provided for this fascinatingcultural phenomenon.

We remain challenged by the question of why so many rugs have survived in the Reformed Churches of the Saxon minority of Transylvania, who for centuries have shared the region with a Romanian (Orthodox and Catholic) and a Hungarian (Catholic and Calvinist) population

In the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries, the palace based in Istanbul and in Hereke, The rugs woven in Kumkapi (Istanbul) and Hereke gained worldwide recognition. The finest silk rugs in the world are still being woven in Hereke today.

We can identify the rugs woven in different regions as town or village rugs. The rugs woven in the agricultural areasof Anatolia owe their origins to the settlers or nomadic cultures.

In Europe, these rugs (which are woven with woolon wool ) are generally called “Anatolian Rug” In towns where people have settle permanently, the rugs are wovenwith a wool on cotton combination.

Today in Turkey, there are regions which keep this wonderful tradition alive; such rugs are woven in Konya, Kayseri, Sivas, Hereke, Yagcıoglu, Kula, Dosemealti, Taspinar, Istarya, Milas, Bergama, Canakkale, Enize, Kars, Ushak, Ghordes, Fethiye and Yahyali.

Summary on Antique Turkish Rugs

Antique Turkish Rugs and Carpets are among the best known art forms produced by the Turks. There are environmental, sociological, economic, and religious reasons for the widespread art of carpet weaving among the Turkish people.

In the regions where the Turks have lived, temperatures changed greatly between dayand night, summer and winter.

Turks, whether nomadic or farming, have protected themselves from the extremes of the cold weather with carpets.The Rugs are almost always handmade of wool, but sometimes cotton is added.

In the traditional households, women and girls take up carpet weaving as a hobby as well as a means of earningmoney. Even as factory-made carpets became easier and cost less they cannot reduce the popularity of handmade rugs.

Handmade Antique Turkish rugs and carpets are among the most sought after household items all over the world. Their rich colors, warm tones, and extraordinary patterns with traditional motifs have contributed to the status that Turkish carpets have maintainedsince the 13th century.

Handmade Turkish carpets in the 15th and 16th centuries are best known through European paintings. In the 17th century, whenthe Netherlands became a powerful trading country, Turkish carpets where displayed in many homes there.

No two carpets are the same; each one is a creation from a new one. Because traditionally women have woven the carpets,this is one art form that rarely appreciated as being the work of art. 

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