The Ottoman sultan Abdülmecid I (pronounced: Abdul Mejid), who reigned from 1839 to 1861, is famous for having been the first sultan to attempt to westernise Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. He was the first to wear European style clothing rather than traditional Turkish costumes. The Mecidi style, which took its name after him, was initially seen in architecture (Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul), but soon spread to all forms of decorative arts (including carpets), partially inspired by European models.
This rare and charming white-ground prayer rug, woven in Central Anatolia in the second half of the 19th century, is typical of this style, which can also be found in Gördes and in other Anatolian rugs. Although it is uncertain whether this old piece with beautiful colours should be attributed to the looms of Kırşehir or those of Mucur (Mujur), it is clearly in exceptionally good condition. The unconventional pattern is related to the traditional “column” prayer rugs, but the layout has been interpreted in a completely new style, enhanced by the absence of a real border, the naturalistic appearance of leaves and flowers, and the presence of a stylised landscape scene with two small buildings (possibly a church and a mosque) portrayed at the base of the niche.
In terms of the weaving structure, the presence of so-called “lazy lines” is remarkable as these are more typical of earlier Ushak rugs from the classical period.
Size: 167 x 104 cm
Age: 2nd half 19th century
Condition: very good