Apart from the Qum carpets of Iran, Hereke and Kayseri carpets are arms in arm with their Iranian counterpart and some of the best pieces were the Kum Kapi, impossible to find and even if you did the price would be astronomical today. The best place to see this part of Turkish history would be at the Topkapi Museum where the original and some of the finest examples are. I have seen and dealt with them and can say the fineness, the gold thread which were made with real 9% gold twisted into a metal thread that would not tarnish over time is not only in the art of making such a piece but needed some of the finest weavers to achieve, hence making them the most valuable of the silks in this world for a small piece.
The main was a prayer-rug style with the Mihrab design and a lantern hanging in the middle with trees and flowers very ornately done. After all it is Silk, the material in itself is expensive and the best is used as traders from Europe Asia would travel across the Bosporus Straight bringing with them their raw silks for the weavers. The colours are very soft and with many colors, up to 20 at times, all vegetable dyes with various hues of blues, greens, reds and pink.
Extremely fine in knotting for the Hereke’s but the Kayseri the second grade were somewhat looser and with less knots, nevertheless if it’s an authentic piece and I must warn you, China started making Hereke Design’s more than 20 years ago and sending them to Turkey to sell as authentic pieces , therefore a trusted dealer is of utmost importance!
During my travels in Istanbul I stumbled upon an exquisite collection of pieces from a dealer who after much heavy negotiations I was able to acquire pieces from the 1930’s to 1980’s, without a doubt I had hit the jackpot with quality, age and most of all the price.