Antique Transylvanian Overview

Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Ushak carpets developed a series designs with both star-shaped quatrefoil medallions, and circular or ogival ones. These had details made up of sinuous arabesque vinescrolls and tendrils which reflected contemporary Safavid Persian designs. Ushak produced various types of prayer rug as well. In the later seventeenth century a single and double niched prayer rug type also developed. Often attributed to the European areas of the Ottoman Empire, these “Transylvanian” rugs were probably made in Asiatic Turkey. All these various Ottoman types, which represented the output of organized urban manufacturies, largely in western Anatolia, provided the foundation for a more rustic and lively genre of popular Turkish village weaving all across Turkey, which was informed by a nomadic taste ultimately reflecting the Central Asian background or origin of the Turks. This tradition of Turkish village rug weaving has survived right down into the twentieth century.