CENTURY TURKISH FLOOR COVERINGS
It is this period
which is, in a number of ways, a key missing link in carpet history. Thus
the notations of Jean-Claude Flachat in 1765 are of interest, for floor
furnishings abound and are quite well delineated. He -- as with scores
of his countrymen predecessors -- visits the St. Sophia mosque and unintentionally
records the apparent walkway demarcation function of its floor carpets:
"One can judge the beauty of the pavement in the space which they
take care to leave between the handsome carpets with which it is covered."
"They actually carpet apartments with plain velvet, or handsome cloth embroidered in gold and in silk, or braided, with gold cloth, with brocard [embroidered silk with gold threads], with thick stuffs in uniform [unies] or flower-patterned silks, with delicately cut out velvet on a gold base: door curtains, sofas, armchairs vary. The floor ordinarily is covered with Persian carpets; but in certain better decorated kiosks [small pavilions], in winter they extend a white felt carpet, which resembles a pleasant flower bed, & in summer an Egyptian mat, which does not any less gladden appearances by the flowers & leaves that have been painted thereon. One walks likewise in corridors on carpets of moguette [fabric embroidered with linen], or on mats." (3)
This paragraph is
further reminder of the catholicity of Near Eastern textile furnishings.
While the detail concerning the pattern on Egyptian mats -- apparently
a staple floor covering in Ottoman Turkey over a long period of time --
is of definite interest, the key item here may be that so ordinary a phrase,