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Old January 17th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #1
Pierre Galafassi
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Default a rare chessboard border rug.

Hi all,
The illustrated rug appears in a 1469-1480 painting (Pilate’s hand-washing) by the Master of Schottenaltar.


It might belong to a group of carpets with simplified motifs and very low knot-density, which, according to some authors, might have been woven in Europe (see main essay).
The interesting border features a chessboard of squares of equal dimension, structured into crosses of various colors. I don’t know of any extant rug with this particular motif. Does anybody?

As mentioned by Dimand (1), the field (not the border) of Spanish large Holbein rugs frequently features chessboard areas enclosing the central octagon. A hint, at best.
I also suppose that it would be pure speculation to attribute the crosses to any Christian influence.
(1) M.S. Dimand, MET Art Bulletin, « Two fifteenth century hispano-moresque Rugs ».

Best regards
Pierre
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