Thursday 22 November 2012

A Re-Discovered Mamluke Carpet

Discussing Cairene-Ottoman carpets in 1961,Kurt Erdmann mentioned a circular-shaped example in Czechoslovakia,which he compared to a piece in the Corcoran Gallery of Art

1-The Corcoran carpet-Gigi Pagnano,Nr.21

Professor Erdmann had not seen the carpet,then as now in the Museum of the Archdiocese in Kroměříž.He again mentioned it in his article on Carpets of Unusual Shape,in "700 Years"However the item is not a Cairene-Ottoman but a Mamluke carpet with an unusual central medallion


Another round Mamluke carpet is the Barbieri,auctioned at Sothebys on 12 October 1982 for 46,200 pounds(see Hali 5-2-203)

3-The Barbieri-Now in an Italian Collection

Yet a third piece is in the Museum of Islamic Art,Doha


The rare medallion form of the Kroměříž carpet is mirrored in a piece once belonging to Eberhart Herrmann,and published in SOT 5,plate 1

5-Seltene Orientteppiche-5,plate 1

The medallion occurs in a more complex form on a carpet from the Pitti Palace, Florence,discovered by Albert Boralevi in 1983(see Hali 5-3-282)

6-Pitti Palace Florence
In Hali 108-4 the editors described the Pitti Palace Carpet as the largest of the genre(4.09 x 10.88 mtrs !)The three pieces shown here appear to be the only examples with protruding"spikes".

There is always the possibility that the Kroměříž piece has been re-configured but the border procession on both Mamluke examples is very similar.Their size too:the Barbieri weighs in at 287 cms diameter,the Kremsier at 270.Such carpets are said to have been woven for tables,as a photo in situ shows

7-Photo:Ladislav Bezdek

Many thanks to Cyril Mesic at the Kroměříž Museum for providing information and an info sheet( in Czech)from Dr.Stulz of the National Heritage Museum in Prague.


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