'Star Ushak' Carpet

Object Name: Carpet

Date: late 15th century

Geography: Attributed to Turkey

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: Rug: L. 169 1/2 in. (430.5 cm)
W. 91 1/2 (232.4 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1958

Accession Number: 58.63


This carpet is known as a Star Ushak, from the star shape of its medallions and the weaving center from which it originates. In the use of a primary star-shaped medallion on a field containing a secondary floral scroll, the Anatolians no doubt were influenced by northwest Persian book design, as seen in buildings or illumination, or by Persian medallion carpets. Unlike the Ottoman medallion carpets of Cairo and Bursa, the ground scroll here is secondary to the medallion scheme. The blue medallions on the red ground are the traditional colors of these carpets. Star Ushaks, extremely popular in the West and copied there, are portrayed in European paintings as early as the second quarter of the sixteenth century.