Mamluk Influence in Early Turkish Carpets?
So called "Checkerboard" Rug
Simplified Mamluk carpet, or integration of characteristics
of both Mamluk and Andalusian "wheel" or medallion carpets?
Simplified Mamluk medalliion or Andalusian medallion?
Could this dicotomy represent a bifurcation of a common design?
In a talk that Jon Thompson gave to KC Rug group this last Thursday, among other things, he talked about the influence of Mamluks on Turkish carpets (after they were captured and brought back). He believes that most of the carpets that are identified as "Mamluks" today are really Mamluk influenced Turkish carpets.
To Paul and All- Did Mr. Thompson happen to state any of the evidence which
led him to this conclusion? Wilhelm von Bode, in Antique Rugs From The Near
Among the products of the 15th and to the 17th centuries which claim our attention now, we will distinguish three groups that can be clearly differientated on the basis of design and, to a degree too, through other details characteristic of the weave. The oldest, that of the Mamluk rugs,thrived over a period of somewhat longer duration than the sultanate after which it has been christened (to 1517).
The other two groups mentioned by von Bode as proceeding from Egypt include the "Checkerboard" rugs, which seem to combine both Egyptian and Turkish characteristics in accordance to design, color and structure/materials, and the Cariene Ottoman with it's introduction of curvilinear designs and of course- the Prayer rug.
Of what I can recall from the talk (my apologies to Dr. Thompson and everyone if my faulty memory misrepresents his thoughts), he presented two reasons: 1. As was the practice at the time, rugmakers, artisans, etc. would have been rounded up and taken back to Turkey to work there; 2. the stylistic changes that took place after the conquest (1517).
The Eilands in "Oriental Carpets" mention that "it may be theorized that rugs in Ottaman court style were made in Cairo or Anatolia by Egyptian artisans." (following the occupation).
Peter Stone, in his "Lexicon" says that "many so-called 'Mamluk' rugs are of problematic origin. One group of such rugs is attributed to the Maghreb, an area that now includes Morocco, Algeria, and Tunesia."
Details and Origins
Paul and Everyone-
The first image below, from Dr. Du Ry's Art Of Islam, is described as being a Mamlukm carpet,78x54", 16th cent., and made to the order of the Ottomans, in Cairo. Victoria and Albert Museum.
What struck me as most interesting is that of the drawing of the interior of the central medallion and how it reminds of the drawing of some large pattern Holbein carpets.
While the image below doesn't do justice to the carpet,what strikes me as most interesting about the design of this rug is that of the realistic portrayal of floral forms. We have leaves and tendrils. and potted plants with leaves and flowers, similar to what we commonly refer to as "Turkic" design elements, but less rectilinear and more flowing. Reminds, with it's vines and seeming grape leaves, of this early Meditteranean style as of Mashatta and less of Turkey.- Dave