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"Lotto" carpet, ca.1600, Western Turkey, Ushak Region, Ottoman Empire.

Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World, including Fine Carpets and Textiles
London|24 Oct 2007| L07222

LOT 375
An Oushak 'Lotto' Carpet, West Anatolia,
(together with Sarre, Friedrich and Trenkwald, Herrmann, Altorientalische Teppiche, Erster
Band, Wien/Leipzig, 1926, 1 vol., and Zweiter Band, Wien/Leipzig, 1928, 1 vol., lithograph
illustrations, both volumes bound in dark blue cloth, gold foiled titles) very minor rubbing
to corners of bindings, overall in very good condition)

approximately 300 by 219cm., 9ft. 10in. by 7ft. 2in. (3)
ESTIMATE 60,000-80,000 GBP
Lot Sold: 240,500 GBP ($492 785)

The overall arabesque lattice design found here was named for the Venetian artist Lorenzo Lotto
(1480-1556) who was one of numerous European artists throughout the16th and 17th centuries to
include carpets with this pattern in their works, see Mills, John, " 'Lotto' Carpets in Western
Paintings," Hali, vol 3. no. 4, 1980, pp. 278-289. Prior to this study, the arabesque lattice of these
carpets had been examined and further categorized into three groups by Charles Grant Ellis: the
'Anatolian,' 'Kilim' and 'Ornamented,' see Ellis, C.G., "The 'Lotto' pattern as a fashion in carpets,"
Festchrift fur Peter Wilhelm Meister, 1975, pp. 19-31. The prestige and enduring appeal of 'Lotto'
carpets in the west is demonstrated by their appearance in so many paintings as well as by the
numbers of rugs and fragments that have survived and that have been the subject of scholarly

The present carpet displays the 'kilim' pattern, characterized by the serrated edges to the motifs.
Here, the field design is complemented by a cloudband-filled border. In the paintings Mills
examined, this kilim field and cloudband border combination first appears in a rug depicted in a
1611 portrait of Frances Howard, Duchess of Richmond, by Marcus Gheeraedts (attrib.), see Mills,
John, op.cit., fig.34. He shows six other paintings with rugs having this configuration dating
between 1613 and 1667, see Mills, ibid, figs, 36, 37, 64, 68, 71, 72. In the carpet offered here, it
is the guard borders that appear to be unusual, with a narrow zigzag-vine inner guard and wider
meander vine outer guard. Of the known and published kilim and cloudband examples, there
appears to be only one other carpet with similar guards and this is in the Museum of Turkish and
Islamic Arts in Istanbul, see Yetkin, S., Historical Turkish Carpets, Istanbul, 1981, pl. 31. Yetkin
dates the Istanbul carpet to the 16th century, while most examples of carpets with the 'kilim'
arabesque and cloudband border are ascribed to the 17th century, for examples see Erdmann,
Kurt, Seven Hundred Years of Oriental Carpets, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1970, pp. 58-59; and
Gilles, R., et al, Tapis: Present de l'Orient a l'Occident, Paris 1989, p. 76. Since most depictions of
cloudband bordered kilim-design rugs are in the 17th century, this would suggest that these
carpets were woven from the late 16th century and well into the 17th century. The present and
Istanbul carpets may therefore fall near the beginning of this tradition, dating to circa 1600 or the
early 17th century.

Many of the surviving rugs having a kilim pattern and cloudband border are of a smaller format
than the present carpet, for examples see Erdmann, op.cit., fig. 57; Batari, Ferenc, Ottoman
Turkish Carpets, Budapest, 1994, figs. 13 and 14; The Aita Collection: Exceptional
Carpets, Christie's London, 18 October 2001, lot 228; and Ionescu, Stefano, Antique Ottoman
Rugs in Transylvania, Rome 2005, cat. nos. 29, 30, 32, 33, 35 and 37. The present carpet shares
its larger size with the carpet holding the record price for a 'Lotto' rug, Christie's London, 29 April
2004, lot 100.

That a number of rugs having the 'Lotto' design were found in Roumania, see Ionescu, op.cit., lead
Charles Ellis to suggest that these rugs may have been woven in Eastern Europe rather than in
the generally accepted Western Anatolia. Structurally, the 'Lotto' carpets are most similar to
'Holbein' and other weavings attributed to the Oushak area and thus, to date there is no reason to
suggest that they were woven elsewhere than Turkey.

The carpet offered here is in unusually good condition, retaining its vibrant color and showing its
balanced design much as it was originally intended some 400 years ago.