Name of Object:
Uşak carpet (Bergama)
Also known as:
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Date of Object:
Hegira 10th / AD 16th century
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Wool on wool, woven with the Turkish double knot also known as the Gördes knot.
Length 292 cm, width 170 cm
Period / Dynasty:
Western Anatolia (Bergama – Uşak region), Turkey.
This is a carpet woven in the region of Western Anatolia in the AH 10th / AD 16th century. Both warp and weft are of wool. The weaving technique used is the 'Turkish double knot', known as the Gördes knot. The carpet is divided into five compartments: three pairs of octagons alternate with large rectangles on a dark-yellow ground and within a border of rosettes. Within the rectangles, which have red backgrounds, concentric octagons make up the primary motif. At the centre of each octagon is a six-armed star rosette. Around the inner octagon, resembling a floral rosette because of the hook and interlace motifs around the central star, the field is filled by a group of stars with stylised red and white leaves among them. The main octagon is completed by yellow and blue interlace motifs, while corner-pieces made up of hook motifs complete the large rectangle. Two narrow borders with chain and leaf motifs are in turn surrounded by the main border, which has groups of stylised kufic script on a dark-blue ground. The imitation kufic interlace motifs, which are white, yellow, green, and blue with red contours, are made to contrast with the contrary colours placed between them.
View Short Description
This woollen rug was woven with Turkish double knots (Gördes knots) in Bergama in the AH 10th / AD 16th century. These rugs with rectangular frames and geometric and stylised floral motifs came to be known as 'Holbein' carpets after the German painter Hans Holbein, who included them in his paintings.
How date and origin were established:
The carpet is dated to the 10th / 16th century on the basis of the characteristics of the motifs and composition as well as paintings in which similar carpets appear.
How Object was obtained:
The carpet was transferred to the Museum in 1911 from the Shaykh Baba Yusuf Mosque in Sivrihisar as part of the initiative begun in the 19th century to collect up artworks from all over the Empire.
How provenance was established:
It is well known that there was a thriving carpet-making industry in Bergama and Ushak in the 10th / 16th century. The presence of particular motifs and a style based on geometric division, both of which are still found on carpets produced in Bergama today, suggests that the carpet was woven in Bergama rather than Ushak.
Aslanapa, O., Türk Halı Sanatının Bin Yılı, Istanbul, 1987, p.94, pl. 127.
Citation of this web page:
Gönül Tekeli "Uşak carpet (Bergama)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tr;Mus01;39;en