Origin: Aydin Western Anatolia
Woven: c. 1890
Size: 3.56 x 1.63 m 11'8" x 5'4"
Price Euros 1750
Aydin is about 25 km from the Aegean coast of Western Turkey, inland from the historical city of Ephesus. Today all weaving has ceased, but Aydin lies on the coastal road, and was always on an important trade route and did for many years have its own weaving tradition. The weavers there made both smaller prayer kilims and larger kilims woven on small looms in two pieces and then sewn together vertically. Static central panels surrounded by busy, heavily patterned motifs full of movement are typical of the larger Aydin two-piece kilim, of which this is an example. Bright colours have been used throughout for these motifs, which include densely packed cengel (hook) motifs around the border (these protect against the evil eye), and the kurt izi (wolf track) motifs, also for protection, around the central panels. This is typical of Aydin kilims as is the white ground on which the design is laid. The central medallions are nazarlik designs, according to Anatolian Folklore, thought to be a protective charm against bad luck. This kilim appears to be totally devoted to protecting the owner from bad influences - a very nice present for whoever received it! Unusually for a kilim this old, a large part of its history is known. It was bought in Turkey towards the end of the First World War (when it was not so old!) and brought to the UK by a returning soldier. It was then stored for 75 years by the soldier's family (known by the author!), being passed from mother to daughter. During this period some professional repair was carried out, and today it remains a fine example of the weaving of the area of that time.