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Rare Collection of Four Silk Hereke rugs

Circa 1960
160 × 105 cm 5’2” x 3’5”


A rare collection of four silk Hereke rugs, dating from circa 1960-1970.  These masterpieces are all in exceptional and perfect condition, woven with exquisite soft silk and a very fine weave.  Each rug has been signed in the top left hand corner, in varying silk and with silver thread behind. The design on these rugs are very rare and unusual, following our extensive research we have not discovered any images of other silk Hereke rugs with similar designs or information to verify their history exactly.

. . .

It is not inconceivable that these four silk Hereke rugs were commissioned as a gift for important dignitaries or royalty. Possibly even woven for a Sultans palace, such is their rare designs, each rug is signed with silk on silver thread too. Clearly woven by the best Turkish weavers and using the best materials.

The History of Hereke rugs:

The 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdulmejid I (1823-1861) founded the Hereke Imperial manufacturing of silk rugs and textiles in 1841 for his Dolmabahçe Palace on the Bosphorus, the strait of Istanbul.  He gathered the best artists and carpet weavers of the Ottoman Empire in Hereke, where they produced fine quality rugs and large carpets with unique designs.

After Abdulmejid I finished his Palace, the Ottoman Sultans used Hereke rugs as gifts to selected visiting royalties, nobleman and statesmen.  It was not until the late 19th Century that traders were allowed to sell rugs made at Hereke, they were deemed to special and expensive to do so.  When the Ottoman Empire ended, weaving Hereke rugs was restricted until the middle of the 20th Century.

Reference to these four silk rugs designs:

The tree of life design with candles on these silk rugs in many ways seems to be an interpretation of The Menorah.  The Menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lamp stand of pure gold and used in portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness, then later on in the Temple of Jerusalem.

We can see a snake coiled up around the base of the tree, and in many myths the serpent coiled around a Tree of Life is situated in the divine garden.  In the story of Genesis, the tree of knowledge is situated in the Garden of Eden together with the Tree of Life and Serpent. A fourteenth century poem on Bible history states the birds flutter among the leaves when the golden treasure from Jerusalem is exhibited at the feast in Babylon.

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