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

back to Ottoman Cairene carpets main page

Cruciform Mamluk Medallion carpet, mid 16th century, Ottoman Egypt. San Gimignano (Siena), Museo Civico


The small size of the medallion, the curvilinear decorations with palmettes, the sickle-shaped leaves of the saz reed and the asymmetrical knotting indicate that this Ottoman court carpet was made in Cairo after 1517.


The carpet's crosslike shape, designed to cover the top of a table with four borders draping over the sides, and the presence of four coats of arms  (unidentified) indicate that it was made for the home of a noble European family. According to legend, Cardinal Orsini presented it as a gift to Cesare Borgia in 1502, who in turn gave the carpet to Niccolo Machiavelli, who brought it to San Gimignano. Stylistically, however, the carpet is datable to the mid-16th century, not before.