Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the house I call "home" now . . . (3)

Jou kombers en my matras . . .

Christo bought a huge 3 x 4m carpet about two years ago. The salesman called it a Holbein. We googled "Holbein" and discovered that it wasn't just a sales gimmick: Holbein carpet actually exists!

Holbein carpet are a type of Ottoman carpets taking their name from Hans Holbein the Younger, due to their depiction in European Renaissance paintings.

 Hans Hobein 1497 (self portrait)

Holbein designs are sub-divided into four types; they are the commonest designs of Anatolian carpet seen in Western Renaissance paintings, and continued to be produced for a long period. All are purely geometric and use a variety of arrangements of lozenges, crosses and octagonal motifs within the main field.

The large-pattern Holbein. The square compartments have octagons or other "gul" motifs from the small-pattern types between them.

The Ambassadors with a Type IV Holbein carpet on the table.
Christo owned this Type IV before we knew about Holbein.

Another large-pattern Holbein. The motifs in the field inside the border are large squares filled with decoration, placed regularly, with narrow strips between them containing no "gul" motifs.

Master of Saint Giles, Mass of Saint Giles, c. 1500, with a Type III Holbein carpet.

Christo's marvellous 3 x 4 m Type III Holbein.

The Type II Holbein or Lotto carpet is a hand knotted carpet having a pattern that was primarily produced during the 16th and 17th centuries along the Aegean coast of Anatolia, Turkey, but also copied in various parts of Europe. It is characterized by a lacy arabesque, usually in yellow on a red ground, often with blue details. The name, "Lotto carpet", refers to the inclusion of carpets with this pattern in paintings by the 16th-century Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto.

My contribution to the five Holbeins we now possess, are two Type I: Small-pattern Holbein. The motifs are small, and usually of several different types that recur regularly. These two carpets are much older and very well-worn. Sommer al goed deurgeloop. The one  I bought in Kopenhavn and the other I got from an auction about a decade ago. 

Type I (180 x 200 cm) from an antique auction in Bloemfontein.
KoningKat's all-time favourite!
Type I (60 x 90 cm) from Kopenhavn.

A Type I Holbein carpet made in Anatolia during the 16th century.