Antique Turkish Oushak Rug - CU-316 - Lavender Oriental CarpetsView Rug - Lavender Oriental Carpets
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CU-316 - Antique Turkish Oushak Rug

11ft 03in X 18ft

Oushak-Anatolian-Kars Rugs

Circa: 1900

It is well known that English and Irish Arts and Crafts carpets were substantially influenced by their Turkish Oushak contemporaries, but “improved” upon them by getting the irregularity in order and reducing complex color schemes to simpler palettes. But it is rarely considered that the influence ran the other way. Simpler tonalities begat even simpler ones and pattern was taken down to the essentials. This rug is a good example of this. Although contemporary with Art Nouveau, it shows no trace of the flowing water plants or vegetal sinuosities characteristic of that latter style. But it sure fits in with the other c. 1900 Avant Garde carpet trend, the Arts and Crafts movement. For one thing, we have a sharply reduced palette, basically rich deep red and straw yellow. Even the touches of ivory tend away from the white end of the range. Very few Donegal’s, say, get this bitonally minimal. Or this assertively saturated.-The pattern allows the red of the field and border maximum play. Secondary ornament has been stripped away, leaving only giant palmettes in the corners, and above and below the central face-like medallion. These palmettes are, of course, borrowed ultimately from Persian classical carpets, but the internal details have eliminated in favor of brisk form and punchy color. This is precisely what Donegal carpets do, but here it is taken a step further. And there is more plain open space than in an evenly spaced Donegal. Big areas of color.-In most carpets, the (main) border is a balance of a monochrome ground and an eye transporting pattern. Here the field color runs off into the border and dominates the thin, straight line with its lollipop projections. Even the most rigorous Arts and Crafts carpet makes explicit colorifically the field/border layout.-This rug is scaled huge. There is nothing finicky or fussy. If the original Oushaks are generously drawn, and Donegal’s are magnifications of Oushaks, then this large carpet must have been intended for a very generously proportioned room indeed. The furniture must have been made for a giant! Or at least a castle with Arts and Crafts carpets, and most possibly in England. At this time there was a revival in Britain of mediaeval decoration and this magnificent carpet fits right in with the au courant gothic taste.-Carpet influences are never simple or one directional. Here we have evidence. Persia to Oushak to Donegal to Oushak.-

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