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Antique Turkish Rugs: Notes on Antique Hereke Rugs & Carpets
 
Hagop Manoyan Antique RugsNazmiyal Antique Rugs


Hereke Rugs have a very special place  in the pantheon of Oriental Rugs. Hereke Rugs were made in the workshops of Sultan, Abdülmecid I for his massive Dolmabahçe palace on the Bosporus.  As such Hereke represent the highest level of large Turkish carpets equaled only by the Kum Kapi Rugs which were generally smaller. The rug production started at the same time as the  construction of the palace which was built from 1843 to 1856.
Antique Hereke Turkish Rugs

Hereke Area Map

Hereke is on the north shore of Izmit bay southeast of Istanbul in Northwest Turkey.

 

"HEREKE SILK FABRIC AND CARPET FACTORY

Hereke Fabrika-i Hümâyûn was established at Hereke east of Istanbul in 1843. At the time it was the largest such manufactory for silk fabric and carpets in the Ottoman Empire.

Efforts to develop Turkish industry along western lines commenced in the early l9th century, and the Hereke Silk Fabric underwent a series of changes and improvements which kept it at the forefront of technology in its field. Fabrics and carpets were woven here for Dolmabahçe and all the other imperial residences, which served as display cases for the finest of the factory’s products. While Dolmabahçe Palace was under construction a weaving mill known as the Hereke Dökümhanesi was set up in the grounds to produce the items required for furnishing the new palace in situ.

Today the Hereke factory continues in operation as a museum-factory, an exceptional example of this genre of institution." Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Culture - Hereke Silk Fabric and Carpet Factory

The very fine Hereke silk rugs are extremely labor intensive and the prices tend to reflect that. Hereke copies are made in China particularly in Zhenping in Henan province. The market place sees the Chinese copies as no more than copies and the real Hereke is much more valued in the marketplace. (I wrote about the Chinese copies in the late 90s. Now in 2010 the nature of world trade and the cost of Chinese labor makes the Chinese copies less common if they are still made.)

Hereke Rugs: Hereke rug silk and metal-thread , C. 1930 lot 15

Hereke Rugs: Hereke rug silk and metal-thread , C. 1930 lot 15

 
Here are details of the backs of a silk and a wool Hereke rug. These are nice examples but not the finest by any means. I have heard of silk Hereke rugs in the 3 - 4,000 kpsi and wool in the 1200 kpsi range. However I have not seen them so if anyone has pictures of very high knot count Hereke rugs I would love to get the details and pictures.
Hereke Rugs: Turkish Silk Hereke 2' x 3' Villa Del Prado

Hereke Rugs: Turkish Silk Hereke 2' x 3' 

Hereke Rugs: Turkish Wool Hereke 7'5x11' Villa Del Prado

Hereke Rugs: Turkish Wool Hereke 7'5x11' 

 
 
Antique hereke Rugs
 

Thanks and best wishes,

J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

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