5 feet 10 inches x 4 feet 7 inches.
Medium:Wool (repairs in cotton and wool)
Credit Line:Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1972
Not on view
This is an extremely rare variant of the ‘Lotto’
group. Only one other rug of this type, formerly in the Heinrich Wulff
Collection in Copenhagen (published in A Collection of Oriental Carpets
and Rugs belonging to Heinrich Wulff, Copenhagen, 1934, pl.10), has come
The leaf forms providing the main decorative element of
the design are related to those of the ‘Lotto’ type; however, they are now
enclosed within prominently drawn octagonal medallions each containing
four of these leaves with the tips pointing inward. The leaves actually
spring from the small squares enclosing a small star forming the secondary
pattern element. A sense of movement is provided by floral buds springing
from the diagonal sides of the octagons. The border design is loosely
drawn, consisting of a rather disjointed and highly stylized palmette and
[Arts Council 1972]
McMullan, New York (by 1960–72; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Carpets: The Joseph V.
McMullan Collection," June 11, 1970–August 2, 1970, no. 20.
"Catalogue of an exhibition held at the] Hayward Gallery,
London, 19 October–10 December 1972." In Islamic Carpets from the Joseph
V. McMullan Collection. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1972. no.
75, p. 48, ill. pl. XXV (color).
McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J.
Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965.
no. 75, pp. 246-247, ill. pl. 75 (color).
"The Joseph V. McMullan
Collection." In Islamic Carpets. New York, 1970. no. 20.
makes the study of carpets so exciting is the possibility of tracing
mutations of forms. These are often found only among secondary features,
while the main characteristics that determine the group remain intact. In
other instances, as in this case, the whole composition is novel and only
minor patterns reveal a relationship to well-known types. In this carpet
it is a feature of the main border - the angularly drawn, yellow arabesque
with its hooklike excrescences on a red ground - that connects the carpet
with the "Lotto" group; such a relationship is also established by the
grossly stylized leaf forms in the field, although they no longer show the
typical yellow color of the prototype. However, the Anatolian character is
clearly indicated by the coloring and the deeply indented floral motifs in
the field and border.
The field is dominated by staggered rows of
red rectangles, each decorated with a small internal star and framed and
connected with each other by buffcolored lines that create octagons.
These, in turn, enclose long, stylized red, green, and blue leaves, which
form the second major element in the composition. The dartlike buff motifs
between the leaves create a counter movement to the centripetally placed
floral elements and thereby produce the specific inner tension, which,
together with the strong coloring, gives this carpet its lively quality.
The red color of some of the four leaves in each of the octagons as well
as of the small rectangles is taken up by the main border, while the buff
color of the interconnecting lines of the field is echoed in the colors of
the guard stripes and the palmette design in the border. Thus, in spite of
the diversity of the constituent motifs and the apparent contrast between
the colors of field and border, a sense of reciprocity is achieved that
further enhances the aesthetic appeal of this carpet.