Anatolian Rugs in Transylvanian Churches


Two Ottoman Kilims in Transylvania
Penny Oakley

A distinctive group of early Ottoman kilims is defined by a structure that differs from the slit-tapestry seen on the more familiar flat-weaves of Asia Minor. These so-called 'court' kilims are woven from S-spun wool, in the dovetailed tapestry technique, which creates toothed outlines, like combs; they also often have wefts that curve to fit the contours of the design. Their designs belong in the Ottoman decorative repertoire, with floral motifs. With a few exceptions, S-spun wool is specific to Egypt, which became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517.

  The fragment from Rupea exhibited here (exhib no. 38) probably dates from the 17th century, and its design is very similar to a group of contemporaneous knotted pile carpets from Karapinar, a town to the east of Konya. The structure of a second prayer kilim or niche-hanging, attributed to the 18th century or earlier, suggests a west Anatolian origin (exhib no. 39), possibly a specific professional workshop, and only one similar example is known.
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text and images © Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul, and textile-art, London, 2007:
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