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  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Turkish carpet fragment (Smyrna) 18th century

WARP: white wool; Z2S; 7-8 threads per inch (28-31 per dm)

WEFT: cream wool; Z spun, unplied; 3 shoots after each row of knots; 4-5 knots per inch (19-21 per dm).

PILE: wool; 10 colours: dark red, red, dark yellow, yellow , dark green, dark blue, blue, light blue, black, white; symmetrical knot tied around 2 threads; average 16 knots per sq. inch (280 per sq. dm).

SIDE FINISH: missing, but with evidence of one cord overcast in red wool

END FINISH: Lower and Upper: cut and rounded at corners and bound.

DESIGN: Field: dark red ground with a dark green (lower) and dark blue (upper) very large, opposing, palmette filled with stylised blossoms. The remainder of the field filled with light blue tracery, pairs of horizontal, mainly light blue leaves, smaller flowers and, at the very top, the beginning of a further dark blue palmette.

MAIN BORDER: blue ground with angular cartouches in all colours with pairs of triangles between, the cartouches bearing a pair of opposing zigzag lines.

INNER BORDER: yellow ground with S-motifs in various colours

OUTER BORDER: as inner but on red ground.

Place of Origin

Turkey (made)


18th century (made)


Width: 1635 mm Top edge, Width: 1780 mm Bottom edge, Length: 2630 mm Proper right, Length: 2600 mm Proper left, Weight: 15 kg Weight including roller

Descriptive line

Middle East, Carpet; Carpet, Turkey, 1750-1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Donald King, Michael Franses and Robert Pinner, "Turkish Carpets in the Victoria & Albert Museum", HALI 6/4 (1984) pp.354-381.

Production Note

R.P.: Report of a collection of textiles belonging to the executors of the late Mr. Wentworth Buller.
"I have valued those specimens (including 7 carpets) which I thought were worth buying by the Museum. I would call attention to #1) some carpets or fragments of carpet which though not in good condition, are useful for study being well selected and characteristic
(2) to a few small pieces of stuffs...
At the prices which I have valued these goods at I think they would be well worth buying as useful for an educational point of view." William Morris. April 9th, 1884

NB: Request for authority to purchase collection for £179.10; £169.10 paid 14/7/84. No itemized valuation.

Later billed as "Smyrna carpet"

cf: Bennett (1977), illus. p. 211 "Smyrna rug, possibly woven in Ushak, late 18th or early 19th century. NB: design elements in field and main border. Also para. on p. 212. "Smyrna weavings".

Batari (1994) illus. 40, "Usak, 19th century compartment rug fragment" NB> design elements in field and main border.

Dimand (1973) fig. 168/analysis no. 82 "Smyrna palmette rug, end 18th c. beginning of 19th".

mentioned and illustrated "Turkish Carpets in the V & A" by M. Franses & R Pinner (intro. by Donald King) analyses by S. Jarman.
Hali 1984, Vol.6., No. 4, p. 354, 372, 373, 380, 381




Middle East Section

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