'Star Ushak' Carpet

Object Name: Carpet

Date: late 15th century

Geography: Attributed to Turkey

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

Dimensions: Rug: L. 169 1/2 in. (430.5 cm)
W. 91 1/2 (232.4 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1958

Accession Number: 58.63


This fresh‑colored carpet is one of the earliest, largest, and best-preserved examples of its type. Woven in the Ushak region of western Turkey, "Star Ushak" carpets were made for regional consumption and for export throughout Europe. A similar carpet is depicted under the throne of the Venetian doge in a painting by Paris Bordone dating to 1534, and another is seen under the feet of Henry VIII in a sixteenth-century portrait of that ruler. Their association in European painting with royalty and sanctity underscores the status these carpets enjoyed as luxury trade goods.