Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

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Antique Cairene Rugs Guide

In 1517 Sultan Selim the grim (Selim I) conquered the Mamluk Empire. From the fall of the Mamluk Empire until 1914 most of what is present day Egypt was the Ottoman vassal state of Cairo. Cairo stayed in Ottoman hands until 1914 even though the trench invaded in 1798 there was a revolt and a semi-autonomous Albanian dynasty and the British  invaded in 1882 treating Ottoman Egypt as a puppet state.. After 1914 the rugs of Egypt are properly called Egyptian Rugs.  Thus the rugs of Ottoman Egypt 1517 - 1914 are properly called Cairene Rugs. Mamluk rugs were primarily geometric but with the fall of the Mamluk Empire Cairene rugs quickly adopted the floral designs of Ottoman rugs.

Sotheby's A Cairene Rug Late 16th C. Lot 27

Antique cairene rug ottoman egypt, second half 16th century

The David Sylvester Cairene fragments

The David Sylvester Mamluk carpet fragment

Antique large cairene carpet ottoman egypt, mid 16th century


Antique cairene rug ottoman egypt, 16th century

Antique cairene carpet egypt, 16th century

Antique cairene rug ottoman egypt, second half 16th century

Antique cairene rug ottoman egypt, late 16th century

Antique cairene rug ottoman egypt, late 16th or early 17th century

Antique cairene carpet egypt, second quarter 16th century

Antique cairene carpet egypt, circa 1600

Antique ottoman cairene carpet fragment

Antique cairene carpet border fragment, ottoman egypt,

Antique Two Cairene carpet fragments Egypt, mid 16th century

Rug Notes Index - Z Oriental rugs and carpets by Barry O'Connell

Mamluk Art: A 16th century Mamluk carpet, lot 220

Mamluk Art: A 16th century Mamluk carpet, lot 220

Antique 16th C Cairene Rug 3222 from Nazmiyal

Miscellaneous Notes

As I get deeper and deeper into putting together Karapinar Rugs the O'Connell Notes the more convinced I am that Karapinar rugs are distinctive because of the introduction of a Cairene Workshop kilim which spawned Ottoman workshop carpets that then were an influence on the Karapinar village rugs. I am still putting together my ideas but I think they are bearing fruit. I have been reading what I can find on Cairene Carpets and added Cairene Ottoman Carpet Egypt mid 16th century to my notes. I also added Karapinar Iris and Tulip Carpet from Erdmann's 700 Years. I have also been going through my notes books and catalogues looking for Iris blossoms. Fortunately for my theory it is not a common motif in Turkish village rugs. Special thanks to Wendel Swan who has offered much help but as always any mistakes are my own.

Notes on Donald Sidney Richards

Notes on Alberto Boralevi

Notes on Arthur Rhuvon Guest

Kuhnel, Ernst and L. Bellinger: Cairene Rugs and Other Technically Related 15th-17th Century. Washington DC: 1957.

Karnouk, Gloria S.

  • Karnouk, Gloria S. "Form and Ornament of the Cairene Bahri Minbar" in AI. Vol. 17. 1981. 113-139.

Shahin, `Ala' al-Din.

  • Shahin, `Ala' al-Din. "Qaytbay's Decoration: An Analysis of the Architectural Decoration of Various Cairene Facades from the Period of Qaytbay" Master's thesis, American University in Cairo, 1987.

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