As an independent scholar on Oriental carpets, the lecturer has dedicated almost twenty years to the study of the Anatolian rugs, starting with those which survived in Transylvania. In order to prove the Anatolian origin and to explain the presence of these rugs in Transylvania, Stefano Ionescu published a comprehensive study, Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, with the entire collection of the Black Church, together with the most important examples from the Churches and Museums inside and outside Romania. As a distinct project the author is producing in Sultanhanı high quality Replicas of the originals in Transylvania, employing hand carded and hand spun wool, natural dyes and traditional technique, as an attempt to promote the Transylvanian patrimony of Anatolian rugs.
Recent Studies on the ‘Transylvanian’ Group
The talk will be introduced by an 8 min video about Transylvania, which is the repository of the richest and best-preserved group of small format Turkish rugs outside the Islamic world: almost 400 examples including Holbein, Ghirlandaio, Lotto, White-Ground Selendi and a wealth of so called ‘Transylvanian’ rugs.
The ‘Transylvanian’ rugs are the largest group of 17th century Anatolian prayer rugs. This denomination was coined in early 1900s by carpet merchants, for rugs that survived in large numbers in Transylvania. A full classification of the group, based on a recent study of over 800 examples worldwide will be presented. Two ‘Transylvanian’ rugs are part of the al Sabah Collection: LNS 65 R and LNS 75 R , which will be discussed in details.