Ushak Medallion Carpet on White Ground

Object Name: Carpet

Date: first half 17th century

Geography: Attributed to Turkey

Medium: Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Gift of Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.69


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.