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Ushak Medallion carpet on white ground, Turkey, late 16th/early 17th century (~Ahmed I-Murad IV Period). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Medium: Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions: Rug: L. 306 in. (777.2 cm) W. 153 1/4 in. (389.3 cm) Tube: L. 179 in. (454.7 cm) Diam. 11 in. (27.9 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss, 1984
Accession Number: 1984.69 (On view in Gallery 460)


Medallion Ushak carpets usually have a red or blue field decorated with a floral trellis or leaf tendrils, central medallions, and a border containing palmettes on a floral and leaf scroll, and pseudo-kufic characters. In this example (partially restored), a typical white-ground field pattern is combined with the Medallion Ushak to form a new category of Ottoman carpets. Its triple spots-and-wavy double stripe pattern, called šintamani, appears frequently in Ottoman art from the sixteenth century on tiles, paintings, book bindings, and particularly on textiles and garments. Unlike other white-ground categories, this field pattern never appears in European paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Sotheby's, London, May 4, 1951, no. 60, to Perez); [ Elia Perez, London, 1951ľ53; sold to Gruss]; Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss, New York (1953ľ84; gifted to MMA)

Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 74-75, ill. fig. 58-59.

"Friday, May 4th, 1951." In Catalogue of Fine Antique Persian and Turkish Carpets. Sotheby's, London, no. 60.

Perez, Elia, and F. Lewis. Oriental Rugs and Textiles: the Perez Collection. London, 1953. p. 6, ill. pl. 28 (detail).

Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 41 (1983-1984). pp. 4-6, ill. (b/w), detail in color.