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Large Fragmentary Ushak “Quatrefoil” Carpet

Artist Culture
Ottoman period, 1281–1924
16th century
Made in
Anatolia, Turkey, Asia
Coverings & hangings, textiles
Current Location
Not on view
119 x 90 1/4 in. (302.3 x 229.2 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of James F. Ballard
Public Domain
Object Number
Although this Star Ushak is unique for its motif of a repeated blue star and diamond combined, it is characteristically Ushak in the coloring of blue medallions on a brilliant red field. Star Ushak carpets typically consist of large star-shaped medallions which alternate with smaller diamond-shaped units. Curving arabesque forms and floral elements fill the remaining spaces. The town of Ushak in western Anatolia (present-day Turkey) was known for its carpet weaving since the 15th century. The popularity of the Star Ushak design in the West can be seen in the many times it was represented in paintings, the number of carpets exported, and the European copies of the design. This rug is one of 110 oriental carpets donated to the museum from the collection of St. Louisian James F. Ballard. Ballard is recognized as one of the most significant American collectors of oriental carpets in the early 20th century.
- 1925
V. and L. Benguiat [Vitall Benguiat (1865–1937) and Leopold Benguiat (1863–1953)], Paris, France, and New York, NY, USA [1]

1925 - 1929
James F. Ballard [James Franklin Ballard (1851–1931)], St. Louis, MO and New York, NY, purchased from V. and L. Benguiat [2]

1929 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by James F. Ballard [3]

[1] See sale catalogue ["The V and L Benguiat Private Collection of Rare Old Rugs." American Art Association Inc., New York, 1925, cat. no. 22].

[2] This object is published in Maurice S. Dimand, The Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs in the City Art Museum of St. Louis (St. Louis: 1935), pl. XVI (color illustration). In the catalogue's foreword (dated June 1930), the donor, James F. Ballard, states that he gave 69 objects to the Museum in May 1929. The Deed of Gift of the James F. Ballard Collection is dated May 2, 1929.

[3] Minutes of the Administrative Board of the City Art Museum, April 22, May 7, and December 6, 1929.
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