In the course of the twentieth century the majority of nomadic groups that used to migrate in Eastern and Central Anatolia have been settled, but they continue to produce rugs and bags associated with the nomadic way of life. Made from high-quality local wool, they demonstrate well-developed weaving skills and archaic patterns rooted in the ancient Turkic tradition brought to Anatolia by Oghuz and Seljuk tribes.
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Interview with Alexandra Suda
Associate Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
“Many scholars…have cast their ballot in terms of the dating of this carpet because it’s likely the oldest carpet in Canada but it’s also one of the very few intact, surviving Mamluk carpets.”
Alexandra refers specifically to this Cairene rug, the only example of this distinctive group of rugs in a Canadian public institution. Cairene rugs figured significantly in Mediterranean trade and often appeared in Venetian paintings. Their distinctive coloration and patterning are unique and combine ornamental designs and motifs deriving from Roman and Egyptian traditions. Their large size, technical quality and elaborate compositions suggest these carpets were made for mosques and palaces. Production of these rugs continued after the 1517 Ottoman conquest of Egypt, until the mid-sixteenth century.7