When Paris Bordoni (1500-1571) painted the beautiful ceremonial picture in the Academy in Venice he used an Ouchak for the center of the steps. This is positive proof, if other be wanting, of the age of such a rug. Furthermore, Van Dyke painted such a carpet between the years 162o and 1625 when he lived in Genoa.
For many years this type of rug was called Hispano-Moresque and the colors are indeed Spanish, splendid old reds, yellows and blues, but authorities have proved that it was made in the place whose name it bears. It is supposed that the large ones were woven for reigning monarchs, especially for those of Spain.
The designs contain large stars, mostly in blue, with yellow out-lines on warm yellow ground. The stars of varying sizes and shapes are spread over the ground in an irregular way so that they often are cut by the border. The thin lines with which the geometrical designs are executed and also the floral designs when they occur suggest pen drawings. In the sixteenth century Chinese motifs occur in them, such as the cloud band, symbol of eternity, and the Tschi which represents the sacred sponge and is frequently found in Chinese works of the Ming dynasty.
( Originally Published Late 1900’s )