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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Unknown Artist
Aydin kilim carpet
Textile Arts
Work Type
c. 1930
Creation Place: Middle East, Türkiye (Turkey), Southern Türkiye (Turkey)
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

177 x 106 cm (69 11/16 x 41 3/4 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of David Gordon Mitten in honor of Edith and Stuart Cary Welch
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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The rug is a standard size for both nomadic carpets and kilims. As with most rugs woven by pastoral groups, it is relatively small because loom size is limited by the need for easy transit. The group in question most likely spent its winters on the Mediterranean shores, on the eponymous Aydin plain, and summers in the Taurus mountains. The goal of these migrations is, of course, to provide pasturage for their livestock, primarily sheep.

These sheep, most likely of the fat-tailed or Karaman variety, provide the wool for both the warp and weft of the rug. The wool is 2 strands plied in the S direction, then spun in the Z direction. As well as the slit-tapestry weaving technique, we find outline brocading, used to emphasize the main motifs. Outlining brocade is created during the weaving, using supplementary wefts rather than being added later.

In terms of decoration, there are familiar motifs arranged on both the field and in the main borders. They are fine examples of their type, and show how weavers used mostly diagonal lines to avoid large gaps in the fabric. The motif used is a descendent of the so-called Memling gul found in classical Anatolian pile carpets. Here, it has been somewhat compacted and simplified, perhaps due to the difference in technique.

The natural dyes, used in this carpet include madder, which is mordanted differently to create both the aubergine and red. There are also chemical dyes, including two aniline oranges, and an aniline fuchsine, which came into use in Turkey around 1880. The blues are created with indigo sulfonic, and combination of natural and chemical elements.

Verification Level

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