Antique Oushak Carpet
Oushak in western Turkey has been a major center of rug production almost from the very beginning of the Ottoman period. Many of the great masterpieces of early Turkish carpet weaving from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries have been attributed to Oushak. Less, however, is known about what happened to production there in the eighteenth and earlier nineteenth centuries. When things become clearer toward 1900, Oushak re-emerges as a major center, this time for room-size decorative carpets. Oushak rugs such as these are desirable today as highly decorative pieces. They come in central medallion designs as well as patterns of smaller allover medallions or scattered sprays of vinescroll and palmettes. They are notable for the grand, monumental scale of the designs. Oushak carpets often have a subdued palette in soft apricot and golden saffron tones whose pleasing qualities are enhanced by their particularly soft and lustrous wool.