The knot count is approximately 10V x 11H per cm. sq.
The original silk and cotton textile looms were established in the small town of Hereke by Abdülmecid I in 1843. The details concerning the early Hereke carpet production of the 19th century is hard to come by, but it is generally accepted that it began in 1891 with the introduction of carpet looms and craftsmen from other weaving centres across Ottoman Turkey (J.M. Rogers & Hülye Tezcan, Topkapi Carpets, London, 1987, pp.27-28). These early textiles and carpets were produced primarily for the royal household and as gifts for visiting dignitaries, and it is not until the 20th century that commercial production began for which Hereke has now become synonymous.
The present lot is certainly Turkish in construction and, although the vibrant colours are akin to the weaving of the Koum Kapi workshops (please see lot 213 in the present sale for a fuller discussion on the Koum Kapi workshop), the depressed structure and particularly supple handle is more likely to have been produced on the looser carpet looms of Hereke. Moreover, the grade of the silk pile and metal-thread highlights differs from those used in the Koum Kapi rugs. Hereke weavers often looked to the classical Safavid and Ottoman carpets for inspiration, although it is clear that the field design of our rug derives from the Mughal Millefleurs carpets such as that in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford EA 1975.17 (Daniel Walker, Flowers Underfoot, Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era, New York, 1997, cat.no.19, fig.123, p.126), or an even closer comparable, in terms of its design, to a Mughal carpet sold in these Rooms, 13 April, 2000, lot 100. The grotesque masks depicted around the inner minor stripes can be found in the 16th/17th weavings of both Persia and India.