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"Lotto" rug, XVII century, Western Turkey, Ushak Region, Ottoman Empire.

Price realised GBP 43,750


Christie's Sale 14217

Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets
27 April 2017, London


GBP 15,000 - GBP 25,000


Minor touches of wear, naturally corroded black, a couple of minute repairs, overall very good condition
5ft.2in. x 4ft. (156cm. x 122cm.) including kilims



Lot essay
The popularity of the 16th century 'Lotto' design resulted in an increased production of the type in the following century with the majority of these, like the 'Transylvanian' rugs, being woven for the European market. One characteristic of later examples, that developed over the course of the century, appears to be the use of an increasingly wide border in comparison to the field proportions. The two most frequently encountered border types are the cartouche design and the cloud band design as seen here. When illustrated in paintings from the period, the rugs were generally depicted as 'table' coverings, although in some depictions they were used on the floor. An unusual feature in this example is that each 'cloudband' motif faces towards the field which could indicate that it was intended to be used on a raised surface where the border design could be viewed from all four sides. The field designs were divided into three different groups by Grant Ellis (Charles Grant Ellis, 'The 'Lotto' Pattern as a Fashion in Carpets', in A. Ohm & H. R. (eds.), Festschrift für Peter Wilhelm Meister zum 65. Geburstag am 16. Mai 1974, Hamburg, 1975, pp.19-31), a division of styles which has been used almost universally. The field of the present carpet falls into the 'kilim' style, typified by the serrated edges of the motifs. The geometry of the design in this example is particularly well balanced with a strong vertical axis running through its centre, yet clearly demonstrates the endless repeat of the pattern that sits within its imposing frame.

The present rug is in a remarkably well-preserved condition with the majority of the pile remaining long and lustrous where so often it has worn away completely. The thickness of pile displays a rich palette consisting of over eight different colours, including apricot, sea-green, light blue, indigo, ivory, brown, black and golden yellow. Upon closer inspection, one can see that the design is woven with small playful interchanges of colour within each separate motif, and that each of the petals on the snow-flake like flowerheads is tipped with a single ivory knot which highlights the motif further, creating a glistening effect. A very similar example is housed in the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 7.969, however the endless repeat design is not as centralised as our example (M. Franses, In Praise of God, Anatolian Rugs in Transylvanian Churches, 1500-1750, Sabanci University, Istanbul, 2007, pl.7, p.138). A number of comparable examples are preserved in Hungary and Romania (Gyula Vegh and Karoli Layer, Turkish Rugs in Transylvania, London, 1977 reprint, pl.5; Ferenc Batari, Ottoman Turkish Carpets, Budapest, 1994, no.13, p.108). This latter example is particularly close to the present rug with its large scale cloudband motifs pointing away from the centre of the rug. Another similar example sold in these Rooms, from The Aita Collection, 18 October, 2001, lot 228.

Provenance: Sold in Christie's, 9 July 1981, lot 50

Pre-Lot Text










Hali Notes: