Fragment of a pile “Seljuk carpet,” wool
Anatolia; c. 1400
H: 302; W: 187 cm
This fragment has traditionally been linked with a number of carpets found in Konya and dated to the 13th century. Nearly all of them have a Kufi-like border and simple, geometric main field. The fragment, which was found in Beysehir in 1929, has a related border, but its main field has stylized, flowering palmettes. Experts have consequently believed that this is the youngest in the group, something that has since been confirmed by carbon-14 dating.
The other half of the carpet was acquired by an English collection in 1971. The two fragments together measured c. 500 × 260 cm.
Anatolian carpets were praised in exalted terms by travelers such as Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta in the late 13th and 14th century.
Inv. no. 3/1991
Rudolf M. Riefstahl: “Primitive rugs of the "Konya" type in the mosque of Beyshehir” in Art Bulletin, 13:2, 1931, figs. 1, 2, 13 and 15;
Agnes Geijer: “Some thoughts on the problems of early Oriental carpets” in Ars Orientalis, 5, 1963, pp. 82-84, fig. 3 - about the whole piece, not specifically ours;
Friedrich Spuhler: Islamic carpets and textiles in the Keir Collection, London 1978, pp. 28 and 31-32 - about the whole piece, not specifically ours;
Serare Yetkin: Historical Turkish carpets, Istanbul 1981, p. 23;
Oktay Aslanapa: One thousand years of Turkish carpets, Istanbul 1988, pp. 26-28;
B. W. Robinson (ed.): Islamic art in the Keir Collection, B. W. Robinson [et al.], London 1988, p. 51, note 2;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 364;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 685;
Michael Franses: “An early Anatolian animal carpet and related examples” in Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom (eds.): God is beautiful and loves beauty: the object in Islamic art and culture, New Haven 2013, p. 252, fig. 235;