Istanbul, Turkey, or Ottoman Cairo, Egypt
late 16th or early 17th century
wool and cotton pile on a silk and wool foundation
158 x 120cm
The carpet has a central niche is in the form of a mihrab, with decorative side-columns and a hanging mosque lamp and was very probably hung on a wall, perhaps in the women’s quarters of a palace, to serve as a mihrab for communal prayers.
Cairo is documented in the building accounts of the mosque of Süleymaniye in Istanbul (inaugurated 1557) as a manufactory of fine carpets. With the increase in demand from the Ottoman court in the later 16th century, however, carpet weavers were brought from Egypt and settled in Istanbul.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.393, p.332.