Ushak Medallion Carpet on White Ground, Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

Ushak Medallion Carpet on White Ground

Object Name:
first half 17th century
Attributed to Turkey
Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Rug: L. 306 in. (777.2 cm)
W. 153 1/4 in. (389.3 cm)
Tube: L. 179 in. (454.7 cm)
Diam. 11 in. (27.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss, 1984
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
Medallion Ushak carpets usually have a red or blue field decorated with a floral trellis or leaf tendrils, central medallions, and a border containing palmettes on a floral and leaf scroll, and pseudo-kufic characters. In this example (partially restored), a typical white-ground field pattern is combined with the Medallion Ushak to form a new category of Ottoman carpets. Its triple spots-and-wavy double stripe pattern, called çintamani, appears frequently in Ottoman art from the sixteenth century on tiles, paintings, book bindings, and particularly on textiles and garments. Unlike other white-ground categories, this field pattern never appears in European paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Sotheby's, London (British), May 4, 1951, no. 60, to Perez); [ Elia Perez, London, 1951–53; sold to Gruss]; Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss, New York (1953–84; gifted to MMA)
"Friday, May 4th, 1951." In Catalogue of Fine Antique Persian and Turkish Carpets. Sotheby's, London, 1951. no. 60.

Perez, Elia, and F. Lewis. Oriental Rugs and Textiles: the Perez Collection. London, 1953. p. 6, ill. pl. 28 (detail).

Welch, Stuart Cary, Marilyn Jenkins, and Carolyn Kane. "Islamic Art." M.M.A. Notable Acquisitions 1983–84 vol. 41 (1983–1984). pp. 4-6, ill. (b/w), detail in color.

Russell, John. "Critic's Notebook." The New York Times (April 12, 1984). p. C26, ill.

Russell, John. "Small Met Show Highlights Acquisitions." The New York Times (May 25, 1984). p. C21.

Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 74-75, ill. fig. 58-59.