Oriental Rugs, Vintage Rugs, and Antique Rugs by Peter Pap

Konya runner

Early 19th Century

While major historical gaps still exist, more is known about the history of carpet weaving in Anatolia than any other region in the Near East or Central Asia. During his travels across Asia Minor in 1271 Marco Polo stated, "The best and most beautiful carpets in the world are made there". Arabic travelers and geographers of the 13th and 14th century seem to agree with this assessment. Concerning rugs woven in the vicinity of the central Anatolian town of Aksaray, the Spanish Arabic geographer Ibn Said wrote in 1274, "In Aksaray are made the Turkoman carpets which are exported to all the countries of the world." Multiple examples of surviving Anatolian carpets from as early as the 13th century may be seen in several Turkish museums. Surviving Persian, Caucasian, and Central Asian carpets of similar age are few and far between and the few known fragmentary examples are difficult to more specifically localize. Surviving Anatolian carpets from the 15th to the 17th centuries are even more plentiful so that we can trace regional change over time and both foreign and local design influences. This extraordinary gold ground runner was woven in the vicinity of Konya and may be traced back to local central Anatolian traditions with an infusion of classical Ottoman design. A variety of long rugs drawn with gold or yellow grounds were woven in the region from Konya to Cappadocia presumably as early as the 16th century and well into the 19th. The majority of these pieces, however draw rows of repeat elements such as stars or 'Memling guls'. The dynamic medallions drawn here, however, seem to reflect a design tradition from the neighboring central Anatolian region of Karapinar where during the 16th and 17th centuries long rugs were woven with the same central elements combining Ottoman style carnations and tulips. Similar to the early Karapinar group, these motifs are not outlined but rendered with pure counters in red, blue, aubergine, white, and black against the gold field of the piece or the red and blue interiors of the three medallions. Colorful lappets derived from Ottoman velvets of the 16th century are preserved at both ends. The outlining of the medallions with latch-hooks and the way the three medallions are linked in a column in this extraordinary example are in keeping with Konya design traditions and help to localize it.

3' 8"
11' 2"

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