About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project

Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan

Sorting, Washing, Carding, Spinning

"The advantages of handspun yarn to machine spun yarn"

Rediscovery of Ancient Natural Dyes
Our Natural Dyestuffs


Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

Weaving and Finishing Steps

Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs

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Large pattern Holbein carpet, 2nd half 15th century, Turkey. 118 x 132cm. Cathedral of St. Catherine, Sion (Sitten),  Canton Valais, Switzerland.

 Large Octagon Rug, West Anatolia, second half of the 15th century, 1.18 X 1.32m (3' 10" x 4'4").

During the late 15th century one of the most popular Oriental carpet designs was a composition of rows of large octagonal medallions ivith hooks on the outside and wheel-like spokes internally. While ive believe that the designs originated in Anatolia, examples from Spain are atso known, in rug literature this central octagonal medallion pattern is usually called 'Large Pattern Holbein'.

In this example the medallion is particularly clearly drawn. The centre with its white interlace star is comparable to one of two examples in the Museum fur Islamische Kunst in West Berlin.u It is clear from the comer pieces and the design of the border that this mg originally had three octagons.

A very similar border may be seen on a rug from the second half of the 15th century that has a small repeating design in the field.

A simplified version of the border also appears on another octagon rug of this type in the Textile Museum, Washington D.C., and again in a Swiss needlework rug made in 1533 to commemorate the marriage of the Stokar and Tschachllan families of Schajfhausen.

The corner pieces at the lower end of the rug are similar to a three medallion Anatolian carpet in Philadelphia,' and to several late 15th century Spanish versions of the design. The design appears to have been so popular that it was even reproduced in England.

Two of the best known paintings depicting rugs with this pattern are in the National Gallery in London: one painted around 1500 by the Master of St. Giles, and the other from the first half of the 16th century by Hans Holbein the Younger.


Cathedral of St. Catherine, Sion, Switzerland