Eastern Anatolia

Rug, 2nd half of the 19th century

Although it belongs to a rare group of rugs probably originating somewhere in eastern Turkey,1 this piece is a variant in both its main border and the designs within its three bold, blue medallions. Borders normally associated with this type feature cartouches reminiscent of earlier "Transylvanian" rugs, whereas this one is dominated by a floral design on an apricot ground characteristic of Kurdish rugs from the area. The four hooked octagons that fill each medallion are also very unusual. Rugs of this type, especially those with a coarser weave, have traditionally, and probably incorrectly, been called "Yuruk," a Turkish term used by many as a catchall reference to the nomadic tribes of Anatolia. This rug is probably of Kurdish origin, an attribution supported by its festive colors, dark red wefts, and braided end finish at the top.


1. See Werner Grote-Hasenbalg, Masterpieces of Oriental Rugs, Portfolio 1. New York, Brentano's, 1921, pl. 24. Also HALl, 41 (Sept. - Oct. 1988), p. 104.

Structural Analysis
SIZE:  127 x 55 1/2 in. (322.6 x 141 cm.)
WARP:  wool, Z2S; light brown
WEFT:  wool, z x 3-4; red
PILE:  wool, Z2S, symmetrical knots, h. 7, v. 10, 70 k/sq. in.; ivory, dark brown, dark red-brown, red-brown, red, light orange, blue-green, dark blue, blue
ENDS:  top: red wool weft-faced plain weave, braided warp ends; bottom: cut
SIDES:  multicolored wool selvedge of 3 cords of 2 warps each

Oriental Rugs from New England Private Collections