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    Sale 2060

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    8 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 30

    A 'LOTTO' USHAK RUG

    WEST ANATOLIA, CIRCA 1600

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A 'LOTTO' USHAK RUG
    West Anatolia, Circa 1600
    reduced in length
    Approximately 6 ft. 1 in. x 2 ft. 2 in. (185 cm. x 66 cm.)


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    Warp: wool, ivory, natural Z2S
    Weft: wool, dyed light red Z1, 2 shoots alternating, equally straight
    Pile: wool, Z2, symmetric knots, horizontal 10 x vertical 13. Slight alternating warp depression.
    Sides: partially original: 3 cords each of two warps, figure-8 wrapped and attached to rug body in light blue-green Z1 wool
    Ends: upper: not original; side border attached to cut end; lower: up to 1 1/8", light blue-green weft-faced Z1 with a few Z2 wool plain weave


    Lotto rugs are an essential part of the classical Anatolian carpet canon and they are easily recognizable by their iconic yellow latticework and brick red fields. Although named for the Venetian artist Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556) who incorporated these rugs into his paintings, other artists throughout Europe also depicted rugs of this type, indicating that they commanded a strong export market.

    Based on the nuances of their design, Lotto rugs have been classified into three categories by the historian Charles Grant Ellis: the Anatolian-style, the kilim-style and the ornamental-style. The present lot maintains the overall features of the classical Anatolian-style. However, it does seem to cross over into the Kilim style given the emphasized serration of the field elements. The border design is especially interesting as it does not employ any significant minor borders. Instead, the border maintains a simple geometric motif grounded by an inner red and white barber pole. This unique border does not seem to appear in any of the early European paintings that include Lotto rugs.

    In fact, it is arguable that this rug was not intended for the export market at all. Given its unique runner format, it has been suggested that the present lot was woven as a covering for the steps of a minbar, or platform upon which prayers are led in a mosque. Since the rug has now been reduced in length, it is difficult to know how long it was originally.

    The runner format accounts for the minimal use of borders and emphasizes the bold latticework design of the field. It is interesting that the weaver chose to use a large lattice format rather than a small pattern Lotto design. Because of the single column format, the Lotto design assumes a medallion-like effect. The compartmentalized effect is further emphasized by the beading at either end of each "medallion." This nuance is highly unusual and highlights the linear, single column format.

    Provenance

    Beckerath, Berlin


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property of a Private New York Collection


    Literature

    L. W. Mackie, Exhibition catalogue, The Splendor of Turkish Weaving, Washington D.C., The Textile Museum, 1973, p.34, 74, no. 32.

    J. Scholz, Exhibition catalogue, Janos Scholz: Musician and Collector, Notre Dame, The Snite Museum of Art, O'Shaughnessy Galleries, University of Notre Dame, 1980, p 67, no. 37.

    A.J. Lederman, ed., Exhibition catalogue, A Skein Through Time: Carpets from the Collections of Members of the Hajji Baba Club, New York, Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, The City University of New York, 1996, p. 7, no. 2.


    Exhibited

    Washington, D.C., The Textile Museum, The Splendor of Turkish Weaving, 1973-1974, no. 32.

    Notre Dame, The Snite Museum of Art, O'Shaughnessy Galleries, The University of Notre Dame, Janos Scholz: Musician and Collector, 1980, no. 37.

    New York, The Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, The City University of New York, A Skein Through Time: Carpets from the Collections of Members of the Hajji Baba Club, 1996, no. 2.