Study Tour to Transylvania & Bukovina, 5 – 14 June, 2015

A new edition of the Study Tour to Transylvania & Bukovina is organised in cooperation with Carpet Collector magazine. This is a very special moment for the country since Klaus Johannis, formerly the major of Sibiu, has been elected President of Romania. We will visit the most attractive places in and around Bucharest, in Transylvania and in Bukovina: art museums, fortified churches, painted monasteries, Royal palaces, medieval castles and pristine nature in the Carpathians. We will also have a chance to meet Lutheran pastors, Orthodox priests, art collectors, museum curators, scholars and restores. We will be guided by top experts on Ottoman Classical Carpets (we’ll see over 200 examples), Romanian folk kilims and textiles, post Byzantine embroideries; Download the program or contact to register.


First-period Single and Double-niche ‘Transylvanian’ Rugs

On the 100th anniversary of the Budapest 1914 exhibition, when the ‘Transylvanian’ rugs were brought to the attention of the wider public, it’s time to have a fresh look at this fascinating and controversial group. Today about 400 Turkish rugs of different types are preserved in the Lutheran churches and Museums in Transylvania and Romania. About half belong to the ‘Transylvanian’ group, which is the larges surviving group of 17th cent. Anatolian carpets. Studying this group is fundamental for understanding much of the 18th and 19th century production of Bergama, Demirci, Dazkırı, Gördes, Karapınar, Konya, Kula, Ladik, Milas, Mucur, and even beyond to eastern Anatolia.

Black Church, Braşov a must see for every carpet connoisseur: Ushak, Lotto, ‘Bird’, Cintamani rugs
and the greatest ensemble of ‘Transylvanian’ rugs, in outstanding condition.


Pre ICOC Tour to Lombardia: 10 to 15 Sept, 2014

This is a stimulating program focused on textiles and carpets, based on previous experiences. Our base will be in a most relaxing and hospitable location, in Mortara in the outskirts of Milan. Malpensa or Linate airports are less than one hour drive. We will travel by comfortable private coach and discover some gems of Northern Italy, which are really worth visiting: Como, Pavia, Turin and Milan.

During the tour we will also enjoy delicious meals based on the great culinary tradition of the region. And of course we will also attend Sartirana Textile Show, organised by Alberto Boralevi, which has become one of  the major rug and textile events in Europe. This is such a great opportunity for people traveling to Vienna. Click to download the brochure. For further info or to register please contact


Como Lake, Villa Balbianello




from the collection of the Brukenthal  National Museum in Sibiu (Gdańsk  2013)

This book is a tribute to the beauty of the Anatolian rugs in the Brukenthal Museum and of the Churches in Transylvania where they survived:

Introduction study by Stefano Ionescu and an essay about the history of the carpet collection of the Brukenthal Museum by Dr. Alexandru Sonoc.

The book is illustrated with the best photos ever published about this textile treasure:

  • 24 full page photos of Anatolian rugs exhibited in Gdańsk;
  • other 21 photos of rugs and fragments of the Brukenthal collection;
  • 4 great rugs sourced in Transylvania now in Museum collections;
  • 30 photos of Lutheran Churches in Transylvania;
  • 2 paintings showing Anatolian rugs;
  • detailed notes and a new theory of the design origins of the ‘Transylvanian’ group;
  • 196 pages, hardbound.

To order the book: please contact


Anatolian rugs exhibited at the National Museum of Gdańsk

24 highly important  Anatolian rugs from the Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu will be on display at the National Museum of Gdańsk from 16th November, 2013 to 16th February, 2014.

It is the first time after Budapest 1914 that all the best examples (dating from early 16th to mid-18th century) of the leading museum in Transylvania will be again on display: ‘Holbein’, ‘Lotto’, white-ground Ushaks and a wealth of ‘Transylvanian’ rugs.

The opening ceremony will be Saturday 16th November, 2013 at 6 pm.

Sunday, 17th November at 11 there will be a guided visit of the exhibition followed by a lecture held by Stefano Ionescu.

For those who love classical carpets I think is a “once in the century” event! Most probably the exhibition will increase the desire of rug enthusiasts to visit Transylvania !

Hope this will be a great start in connection with Budapest 2014!

Talk at ORTS, London, 23rd October 2013

Bellini fragment, 16th cent.


Tracing the Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania

Transylvania continues to be the repository of the richest and best-preserved group of small format Turkish rugs outside the Islamic world: almost four hundred examples (including fragments) attributable to the golden period of Ottoman weaving.

We will discuss how and from where the rugs arrived and why they entered the patrimony of the Protestant Churches and led to the ‘Transylvanian miracle’.

Then we will visit some Church collections with an eye to the best examples, ranging from the late 15th to early 17th centuries: Ushaks, Holbeins, Lottos, Selendis and a wealth of Transylvanian rugs.


Swedenborg Hall,   20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London  WC1A  2TH

Entrance round the corner in Barter Street.

Doors open from 6.0pm.  Drinks and snacks are served.   

Carpets of a Transylvanian Collector, Berlin 19/09 to 17/10

The passione collector and dealer Norbert Hauser, running Buhara carpet galleries in Bucharest and in Sibiu (Transylvania) will be exhibiting 19th century rugs from Anatolia, Caucasus and Romania in  BERLIN Hektorstasse 9 / 10.




TRIP TO ITALY: from Sartirana to Palermo, 15-29 Sept. 2013

Como, Milan, Torino, Sartirana, Palermo, Naples, Capri, Rome, Florence, Ravenna

Silks, Velvets, Carpets, Tapestries, Textiles & Sartirana Textile Show, Roman, Byzantine and Arab-Norman mosaics

Cosmateque pavements.TRIP TO ITALY 2013 brochure

Poldi Pezzoli Tabriz



Carpet Study Tour to Azerbaijan, starting June 17

The program takes advantage of Alberto Boralevi’s previous trips to the region and also from the cooperation with Dr. Roya Tagieva of the Carpet Museum in Baku. As usually on my tours we will see carpets and textiles, meet weavers and very nice people, visit some of the most significant places in the region. At the moment we have 15 participants from Europe and US and we plan to take 25 pax. Time to take a decision is very short. Participants who can spend more time will be assisted to visit other regions. Join a new carpet adventure!

Download the program of the tour to Azerbaijan.


HALI Art and Culture Tour to Transylvania and Bukovina, June 6-17

The inaugural HALI Art and Culture Tour will take participants on a unique journey through a pristine landscape, visiting not only the repositories of grand carpets, but also first-rate folk-art museums, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning medieval towns, Royal castles and more.



Download the brochure of the tour.


Lecture at the Volkmann-Treffen 2012, Berlin

Half of the fun would go out of carpet collecting if there were no fakes or forgeries or at least no wrongly attributed pieces… (Kurt Erdmann)


Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc (4th edition)

A new revised and expanded edition of the Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc will be presented in Berlin, at the Volkmann-Treffen 2012. It is based on a large body of examples attributable to the workshop of Teodor Tuduc and his entourage together with authentic examples, which served as prototypes for his forgeries.



“Thank you so much for a truly wonderful trip. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  You are a fabulous host and guide.  We look forward to going on another adventure with you one day.Thank you again for all your time, energy and enthusiasm. A bientot I hope,”

Mary Jo Otsea


“Thank you Stefano — and many, many thanks for your organisation and generosity on the tour — it was just great. It’s seldom that a totally new perspective and depth of inquiry on an “established” group comes up — and I think you’ve given the carpet world just that. I feel very fortunate to have benefited from your hard work and vision.

Best wishes — and thanks again,”

Susan Scollay

Photos and testimonials from the past study tours.



Along the Silk Road: join a new adventure starting on April 19 in Tashkent: this is the best time to visit Samarkand, Bukhara; the tour will cover the main Islamic treasures of Uzbekistan avoiding long bus journeys. International textile oriented group, great hospitality, fusion food, all meals included.


Lecture at the Turkish Cultural Foundation: Istanbul, March 16th

Tracing the Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania

Transylvania continues to be the repository of the richest and best preserved corpus of small-format Turkish rugs outside the Islamic world. Almost 400 examples from late 15th to mid 18th century, including the golden period of the Ottoman production, still survive in the area. On the top, almost 200 examples, which are today in European and American collections can be traced back to Transylvania READ MORE »

DE YOUNG MUSEUM: Museum Fakes, Forgeries and the Quest for Authenticity – A Mini-Symposium

DE YOUNG MUSEUM: Museum Fakes, Forgeries and the Quest for Authenticity – A Mini Symposium

PETER PAP ORIENTAL RUGS, San Francisco, Workshop on Tuduc Rugs


TRIP TO ITALY: from Sartirana to Palermo, 13-24 Sept. 2011

This was an  unusual tour which, based on personal experiences. We all met in Sartirana the day of the Preview of the Textile Show organised by Alberto Boralevi. Download the brochure of the tour: TRIP TO ITALY SEPTEMBER 2011



“Tim and I want to thank you so much for arranging yet another fabulous tour.  We can’t tell you how much we appreciated all of your hard work on our St. Petersburg excursion!

Thanks again. ”

Tim & Penny Hayes




“Ekaterina Ermakova and I would like to thank you for the amazing trip to Romania. We both enjoyed it a lot. Every day we discovered something new, either learned about Transylvanian rugs or enjoyed an organ concert, or visited a wonderful museum. Thank you for putting together this rich educational and entertaining program. A variety of our activities was the most pleasant and your good-natured and strong leadership allowed us to fulfill the program without missing a single event or sight. We both have been enchanted by Romania, its beautiful nature, culture and people. We find the trip very useful for everybody interested in rugs and will recommend it to our friends and colleagues. ”

Thank you again

Natalia Nekrassova
Curator, Collection and Research
Textile Museum of Canada
Toronto Ontario


Dozens of Romanian folk kilims (scoartze) and almost 300 Ottoman rugs from late 15th to 18th century, in the Lutheran Churches and the Museums of the region, including examples in the store-rooms. Please contact Stefano Ionescu.


US talk Tour November 2010: Ottoman rugs in Transylvania and folk kilims from Romania

On behalf of ACOR (American Conference on Oriental Rugs) Stefano Ionescu was invited for a 3 weeks speaking tour of the major Rug Societies in US: Philadelphia, Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles.


Ghiordes Prayer rug, formerly in the Aita collection

Ghiordes prayer rug, West Anatolia, about 1700, 5ft.1in. x 3ft.9in, wool on wool, lazy lines. Light wear, a few scattered areas of old repiling. For its design, colours and proportions this is a great example of that particular type of West Anatolian prayer rugs, dating from the beginning of the 18th century, highly sought after by collectors. RUG SOLD.


CLASSICAL SYRIA, from Damascus to Aleppo and Konya: April, 2010

Greek, Roman, Byzantine, early Christian, Jewish, Armenian and Islamic vestiges in an Eastern Mediterranean country characterised by a variety of cultural influences.


ANTICHITATI ROMÂNIA: Covoarele Otomane de la Bistriţa

La sfârşitul celui de-Al Doilea Război Mondial arhiva, covoarele si alte odoare aflate în Biserica Evanghelică de la Bistriţa au fost luate spre a fi salvate de saşii care s-au refugiat în Germania.


HALI 160, 2009: The Ottoman rugs from Bistriţa

Moves are at last underway to restore to their rightful home more than fifty Ottoman Turkish rugs taken fromTransylvania to Germany late in WorldWar II by the Saxon parishioners of the Lutheran Church in Bistrita, Romania. Since 1952, the rugs have been held in storage, ‘on loan’ to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.


Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, July 2009

Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, 9th July 2009

Merchants, Mercenaries and Missionaries: The Society and Culture of the Medieval Mediterranean, c. 500-1500.