Anatolian Rugs in Transylvanian Churches, 1500-1750
exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Emirgan, Istanbul
19 April to 19 August 2007



The Sibiu Interlaced-Gul and Cross Rug
West Anatolia, 15th century
178 x 402 cm, wool pile on a wool foundation
Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu (Hermanstadt), inv. no. M.2182
Formerly: Evangelical Church, Sibiu

This blue-ground Interlaced-Gul and Cross carpet is remarkable for its superb condition (especially considering its size, it is the largest carpet of any kind to survive in Transylvania), and for its beautiful and unusual border pattern, no examples of which are depicted on any rugs in Western paintings. The border has elements, such as the bars with hooks, also seen on 15th century Anatolian carpets with large 'open-Kufic' borders. The outer minor border at one end and partially along one side has a reciprocal design of small, facing bird-like motifs, and on the rest has a meandering stem with hooks, as seen on a number of 16th century coupled-column and Small Medallion rugs from the Usak region. Other Interlaced-Gul and Cross rugs with a similar main border, but different minor borders, survive in the Textile Museum, Washington, DC, and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul.

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text and images © Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
and textile-art, London, 2007:
not to be reproduced without permission