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Small pattern Holbein carpet fragment, XV century, Ottoman Empire, Western Turkey.  Cathedral of St. Catherine, Sion, Switzerland


104x210cm (3'5"x6'11")

This design is commonly known in the rug literature as the Small Pattern Holbein. More than 60 examples of the type, many of them fragments, are known, making this the earliest surviving major group of rugs.


Mostly woven in the second half of the 15th century, and perhaps continuing into the early 16th century, the group was particularly popular in Europe as can be seen in the number shown in Western paintings, 28 up to the first quarter of the 16th century, and a further 19 appear in paintings of a later date.


This rug is in a remarkable state of preservation, complete except for one side border which has been cut off. Part of it has been used to patch another part of the rug.


Literature: A Discovery at Sion, by Marino and Clara Dall'Oglio (featured in HALI Issue 27 in 1985)

image source: www.rugtracker.com, John Taylor