Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Steve Price on Artful African and Asian Garments

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14, 2020 by rjohn

On September 21, 2019 Steve Price

*

*

gave a Rug and Textile Morning Appreciation Morning program on “Artful African and Asian Garments.”

*

*

Tom Goehner, the TM Education Curator, introduced Steve, saying:

“Steve is a collector and the leading editor and technical manager of the textile discussion site Turkotek.com.  He written for such textile journals as Hali and Oriental Rug Review, and has given previous RTAMs here at the Textile Museum. 

In his professional life, Steve is Emeritus Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.”

Since he was a professor, Steve felt obliged to give a framing lecturette, but promised that it would be short.

*

*

He started by taking a step back, saying “Why to we collect textiles?”  He suggest that sometimes it is rooted in aesthetics, sometimes it begins when we acquire travel souvenirs, and sometimes it may originate in acquisitive, psychological tendencies best not discussed in public.”  But, he continued “a related question is Why do we wear clothes?”  He ticked off some of the reasons:

  • Modesty: in most societies it is seen as desirable to hide the genitals

and, with women, breasts.

*

*

  • Protection from the elements.  Also to lessen the impact of surroundings, jungle-like plant life, etc.  Below is a Chinese coir raincoat assembly

*

*

  • Adornment: the wearer’s view of what is “beautiful.”  (Steve said that he had selected the shirt he wore to make him look nice).

*

*

  • Heraldic purposes: a military uniform, 

*

*

(above is Prince Charles in one of the military uniforms he is eligible to wear)

A priest’s cassock, or even just a clerical collar.

*

*

  • Talismanic (believed to have occult powers, especially protective).  Varies from culture to culture. Materials and designs in costumes and clothing are often used to invoke such powers. 

We didn’t have any African masks in the room, but some like the one below were believed when worn in ceremonies to have such powers.

*

*

Chinese garments are often full of symbols thought to make long-life, happiness, good fortune, etc. more likely.  Below is a fragment of a Chinese child’s hat the includes many such symbols.

*

*

Steve said that he would present garments that he brought, starting with those from Africa and proceeding to Central Asia and finally, from mainland Southeast Asia.

P1

*

*

P1 is a Nigerian man’s robe, made by the Hausa or Nupe of Nigeria.  It is indigo-dyed and embroidered. There would be trousers of the same “stuff” worn loose and flowing.

Details of P1.

*

*

*

*

*

P2

*

*

Ewe people.  Motifs on stripes have meaning.

*

*

Notice that the motifs don’t go all the way to the borders.

*

*

*

*

P3

*

*

Ashante.  Note that the motifs go all the way to the borders.  This is similar on the back.

*

*

*

*

*

P4

*

*

Ashante, 1930 or older. silk and cotton.

Several designs suggest a village chief or leader.  Motifs are not specific to a locale, but are selected by what the weaver or wearer wants to convey.

Details of P4.

*

*

*

*

*

*

Now Steve moved to Central Asia, coats in particular.

P5

*

*

This coat is an Uzbek ikat coat.   It’s for a man, although small by western standards.  It’s said that Uzbek warriors were awarded such a coat for each enemy head.

*

*

Lined with Russian printed cotton.

Other details of P5.

*

*

*

*

*

P6

*

*

Another Uzbek ikat coat.  This time probably for a woman.  It appears  to be all silk.

*

*

Inside is Russian printed cotton.

*

*

*

Additional P6 details.

*

*

*

*

P7

*

*

Turkmen chyrpy.   Embroidered in silk. 

*

*

Worn as a mantle, not as a coat.  False sleeve hang down the back.

*

*

Again the lining is Russian printed cotton.

Additonal details of P7.

*

*

*

P8

*

*

Another Turkmen chyrpy.  Inside Russian cotton {below) is more muted.

*

*

*

Notice that different printed cottons are used at the inside edges and slits.  This seems to be general Turkman usage.

Other P8 details.

*

*

*

Steve put P8 on to show how it is worn.

*

Here he is with it on front the front.

*

*

And here is what he looks like with it on from the back.

*

*

Notice the small piece in the image above that connects the two false sleeves.

I said that I collect on a budget and here, below, is as much of a chyrpy as I can afford.  🙂

*

(actual size: H, 5.25 inches, W, 2.25 inches)

*

*

P9

*

*

P9 is a yellow-ground Turkmen chyrpy.  Again, the bridge and sleeve extensions are different.

*

*

The usual Russian printed cotton lining, with striped designs used at the edges, except for a boteh design at the top and shoulders.

*

*

*

*

A question arose about whether chyrpy ground color had meaning.

Some say that chyrpy ground color signals social status:

  • Dark ground – unmarried girls and women
  • Red ground – married woman
  • Green and yellow ground – more mature women, 40-ish.
  • White ground – a woman of at least 60 who is seen to have been a “good citizen”

The conversation in the Myers Room suggested that this is a market construction and that there is little evidence of it in the literature.

I knew that Elena Tsareva had indicated in Hali, 198, pp. 50-59 that she was engaged in a study of Central Asian garments (a particular ikat coat collection).  I thought that she might have or or encountered some information on this chyrpy ground color question and so I wrote her.

She has responded and agreed to let me quote her:

Coloring of chorpy does have meaning.

On the one side — it was the mark of age: thus, the white ones were used by aged women, no difference the tribe or her family status in the tribe.

Green (made of yashil keteni) and probably also red ones (of gyrmyzy keteni) were worn by brides since wedding and until 40 years old [Morozova A.S., 1971, p. 216].

The less studied are the yellow ones, although they are most numerous in Turkmenistan and Russian museums’ collections. One of the reasons is that that yellow chyrpy were out of use in the late 19th century already, so local population sold them rather eagerly to the Russians when the latter started to buy local works of folk art for museums [1] and international exhibitions [2]. Though pretty numerous, yellow head mantels are no way enough studied, and basic reason is the same – people who sold the pieces and gave information about them did not remember their origin and manner of wearing for sure. Thus –Morozova said they were used by women after 40 [3], while Samuil Dudin wrote that yellow chyrpy were made for unmarried girls, and were out of use before the beginning of the 20th century [4]; while general modern opinion is that girls did not wear head mantles at all.

What I know is that most of yellow silk chyrpy were mostly made and used by Tekke. Yet another tribe to use yellow silk as a material for female headgear were the Salor: their brides put on a yellow dastor head cover on the second day of wedding, and wore it until 40 years old.

Below is quotation of my never published cataloque of textile objects from Halili collections.

The chyrpy under description belongs to the so-called yashyl – green colour – group, though here the shade looks more blue than green. This unclear definition of the tint could have happened because of the age of the piece.

Green was obtained through a two-baths system of dyeing: the textile was dyed dark blue first, and then with yellow. Depending on the quality of dyeing the pigment could have disappeared with time. On the other hand, in many languages there are no special words to differentiate green and blue (Persian kabu+d, for example), so this peculiarity can be another possibility to explain the case. Still the third variant can be that the name of the whole piece was defined by the colour of the collar, which is of beautiful green shade.

If compared to the yellow chyrpy in the collection, the piece has slightly different cut, as has additional gores at the sides. This element makes silhouette more fitting at the waist which is a typical feature for green/blue kind of head mantles as a whole. If to speak about chyrpy cut in general the number of small details we see is amazing: possibly there is no other similar complicated piece of clothes in Central Asian costume, with numerous tiny details, made of various textiles and with different finish.

Most visual part of that variety is textiles, here we find blue, green, violet (side gores) and red (details of lining) keteni silk of local work; imported red cloth; urban-produced cotton print of Central Asian and Iranian work. Amazing thing is that all that variety is not accidental, but follows a stable tradition, with none or very little variations from one piece to another.

This, again, underlines a special ritual meaning of the piece for Turkmen female society which had its own priorities, believes and rituals, not known or very little known to the men. Much of that knowledge is now gone and possibly lost forever as was never described by early ethnographers. The latter were mainly men thus had no chance to talk to women in a pretty much closed Central Asian world, so there is very little hope that we can identify the reasons which rouse Turkmen women to make extremely complicated cuts, follow a very strict order of putting parts of their mantles together, use different linings, and so on.

One should not forget that all that was made in absolutely inconvenient conditions, and that fine silk is a very difficult textile to work with.

[1] One of the first collections of Turkmen clothes we know was composed by K.P. von Kaufman (1818—1882), first Turkestan General Governor. In 1902 his collections were partly sold, and partly donated to the former Dashkov Ethnographic Museum in Moscow, which museum was broken up in 1930s, and handled to several Moscow and St-Petersburg museums. Turkmen chyrpy from K.P. Kaufman collection now belongs to the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), coll. no. 8761

[2] The first exhibitions which showed Turkmen costume to broad European public were: Russian Ethnographic Exhibition in Moscow, 1867, Turkestan Exhibition in Peterhof, 1869, International Textile Exhibition in ST-Petersburg, 1870, Moscow Polytechnical Exhibition, 1872; International Exhibition in Vienna, 1873 and so on.

[3] Morozova A.S., 1971. Turkmenskaya odezhda vtoroi poloviny XIX—nachala XX v.//Zanyatiya i byt narodov Srednei Azii. Sredneaziatskii etnograficheskii sbornik (Turkmen clothes of the second half of the XIX—early 20 c.//Occupations and way of life of the people of Central Asia. Central Asian Ethnographic studies), issue III. Leningrad, pp. 168—223.

My thanks to Elena for these indications, some, never before published.

More recently I happened on to some email exchanges with Peter Andrews and a German friend of his Hermann Rudolf, who collects Turkmen embroidery.

I mentioned this question about whether the ground colors of Turkman chyrpys had social meaning and they both indicated that they did.

Peter spoke first, saying: “

“The information of the colour code to Turkmen chirpis was published decades ago by, I think, Beresneva, and I subsequently repeated it, so far as I remember, in in the Turcoman of Iran catalogue…I remember we repeated it at the TM in Washington when Mugul gave a talk on Turkmen costume some 30 years ago.”

Then Hermann said more specifically: “

“With regard to your query about chyrpys and the meaning of their colours, according to all accounts the various colours – green, blue, red / yellow / white – do have meaning. Chyrpys are worn by married women, and the different colours indicate the woman’s age group. They are therefore a social indicator. I have been told this several times during my stays in Turkmenistan (I was there 12 times, since 1993, about 9 months all in all), and read it in various articles and books.

“This applies to the Teke:

“Green, blue-green, and red chyrpys are worn by newly-married and young women (and older ones, if the woman simply keeps wearing her old chyrpy)

“Yellow ones are worn by women from about 40 years of age onwards

“White ones are worn by women from about 60 years of age onwards

“You can quote:

“Peter A. Andrews: “Crowning the Bride. Some Historical Evidence on Turkmen Women’s Costume (…). With Drawings by Mugul Andrews”.

                           In: Folk 33 (1991): 67-106. See p. 101

“Hermann Rudolph: “Schutz und Segen. Abwehr- und Fruchtbarkeitsmagie in der turkmenischen Frauentracht. In: Eothen 4 (2007):303-356.  Colours see pp. 325-328.

                            (Protective and fertility magic in Turkmen women’s costume.)”

Then, Peter spoke again: 

“Hermann has it right. There is no need to look further.

“The only things I should add is that the age of 40 is drawn from the Prophet Muhammad’s own marriage, and that the Turkmen appear to regard indigo blue as a variety of green. When the Yomut used the chirpi (they no longer do), it was green, but plain apart from applied silver ornament (see my article cited by Hermann). The Teke ones are invariably indigo.

“Both, so far as I know, are referred to as yashil chirpi, green chirpi. By the way it is a nonsense to use an I and a y in chirpy: the Turkmen letter is a dotless I in both positions, sounding like the e in butter.”  

Now Steve moved to southeast Asia.

P10

*

*

P10  was woven in Laos by one of the Thai-speaking people, the T’ai Daeng.  It is a head cloth worn by a priestess.

*

*

Snake images.  One reason many cultures consider snakes to be sort of magical is their ability to move without appendages.  

*

*

*

*

P11

*

*

Details of P11.

Laos.  Motifs include what appear to be birds and elephants.  Birds are considered special in many cultures because of their ability to fly.  Humans can’t even do that badly.  The elephant’s power is obvious.

*

*

*

*

*

*

P12

*

*

Laos, T’ai Hun skirt.

Tapestry borders.  Ground is cotton. patterned areas are brocaded in silk.

Ends (top and bottom) are  are subject to wear and are replaced when necessary.

Details of P12.

*

*

*

*

P13

*

*

Laos, T’ai Hun, skirt.  Similar to P12.

It’s Steve’s opinion that the most sophisticated weavings in the world are those of Laotian hill tribes.

Details of P13.

*

*

*

*

P14

*

*

Cambodia ikat skirt. Silk

Details of P14.

(color difference due to camera and lighting)

*

*

*

*

*

P15

(folded double; it’s twice as wide)

*

*

P15 is another Cambodian ikat skirt.

Details of P15.

*

*

*

*

*

P16 and P17

Two large pieces had hung on the front board and Steve moved to treat them next.

*

*

Steve said that he believes these two pieces were used either as temple hanging or as pantaloons.  He thinks the patterns suggest that they were temple hangings.  Very fine silk.

Let’s treat them one at a time, the one on the right first (we’ll call it P16)

*

*

One detail of P16.

*

*

P17

(the one on the left above)

*

*

Details of P17.

*

*

P18

*

*

P18 was shown horizontally.  It is Cambodian, silk.  It is a type of unisex pantaloon that you might remember seeing in movies like King and IKismet, and Alladdin.

Details of P18.

*

*

*

Steve demonstrated how this panel was converted into a pantaloon.

First the panel is taken behind the wearer’s back and then twisted together in the front.

*

*

Next the twisted part is taken down between the wearer’s legs, brought up in back and tucked into the back.

*

*

My camera work wasn’t quick enough to capture this pass and tucking.  But Steven has given this demonstration before in another session and for clarity I have put it in here.

Here’s a TM volunteer modeling this same hipwrapper.  It starts by being put around her, kind of like a horizontal sling. 

SE4tryona

Next, she holds the two sides together around her waist (I think a clip of some sort was used by the Khmer; she’s holding it closed with her hand).   

SE4tryoneb

Steve is holding the ends of the sling, and twists them together to form sort of a rope.  The rope then get’s passed through her legs and the end is tucked into the waist at the back.

SE4tryonc

SE4tryond

This is a unisex garment.  Yul Brynner wore one in his role as the King in The King and I.

MV5BMTI5MDkzMzYzMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzA5NTczMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR11,0,214,317_

  *

P19

*

I brought five pieces to Steve’s program.  The first one I want to show here is African and relates to the mainland SE Asian piece P18.

I own only one, sub-Saharan, African textile,

 

a Dida, tie-dyed, tube skirt from the Ivory Coast.  Finger woven from raffia fibers.  The Met bought one, a while back, and took out a page in Hali to brag about it. 

I showed this piece, recently, in another RTAM and had Julie Geschwind in the audience, who knows such textiles, said that she had another, and a hat that goes with it.

She also knows how such pieces are made and demonstrated that, a bit, in this session.  

*

*

She had said, previously, that the big toes are important in the way that such pieces are “plaited” (her term).

She said the plaiter sits on the ground with her legs extended and stretches a cord in a double pass between her big toes.  This cord goes around these two toes and forms an oval basis for the beginning of this plaited garment (which is woven as a tube skirt).  The plaiter works with strands of raffia plaiting them toward her from this “waist” cord.  This plaiting process uses no equipment except the two big toes.

Once the garment has been plaited, it is tie-dyed in a way that creates a definite external texture on the tube ‘skirt.”  (The  inside of this garment remains smooth and comfortable to wear.)

*

*

This garment is put on, initially, as a tube skirt, open at the bottom.  But it is not worn in that way.  Like the process demonstrated in P18 above the strands at the bottom of the skirt are twisted together taken through the legs front to back and are tucked into the waist in the back, converting the seeming skirt into a pantaloon.

She said that such pantaloons are worn by both sexes.

I brought a second piece that I think may be African.  It could be a garment.  It is cotton, woven in six strips and then sewn together.  Nice, fresh colors.  I think it has no particular age.

P20

*

*

*

The closest thing I’ve seen is:

Aso oke fabric, (Yoruba: așǫ oke, pronounced ah-SHAW-okay) is a hand-woven cloth created by the Yoruba people of west AfricaAso oke means “top cloth” in the English language, denoting cloth of high status.[1][2] Usually woven by men, the fabric is used to make men’s gowns, called agbada, women’s wrappers, called iro, and men’s hats, called fila.

Aso oke is from the Yoruba culture in OndoOyoOgunEkitiLagos, and Osun States in southwestern Nigeria and Ajase in southeastern Benin Republic.

The way of making the cloth has remained the same for centuries, however new techniques and production methods have been looked into to eliminate the weight and thickness of the aso oke cloth, and to make it more accessible for casual wear.

*

*

But I’m not sure at all.  I don’t think this is an important textile,  but I’d be interested to hear from anyone who can tell me more about it.

My second piece was Chinese and embroidered.  It was a decoration for the lower edge of a gown sleeve.  The embroidery in silk is very fine.

P21

*

*

Details of P20.  I think it might have some age but to not know.  A curator I showed it to said that real collectors collect them in pairs, confirming my lowly place in the textile collector world.

*

*

A second Chinese piece I brought was a mounted and framed fragment of a Chinese child’s embroidered hat.

*

*

You saw this image at the beginning.  Here are some closer details of parts of it.

*

*

An expert on Chinese textiles told me that the face on this part of it indicates that it was likely made by an non-Han embroiderer.

*

*

*

*

Another Chinese piece I brought was the one below.  It is the front of a child’s rain cape made in rural southwest non-Han China.  It is made of raffia plant fibers but looks like a bearskin.

P23

*

*

Below is a look at its back. It is not woven but instead plaited or knotted.

*

It is one of my responses to the color, color, color mantra that I use to show that texture can also be important.

I quite like it but my wife would like to see it get out of our apartment.

I brought one Central Asian child’s hat.  It was described as Afghan.

P24

*

*

Roger Pratt had brought some SE Asian textiles and we finish with them.

Roger began with a cotton, stole woven in Gujarat, India.  He showed an identical piece from a V&A exhibition in Sarasota, Florida.

*

P25

*

*

P25 is a stole quite similar to one featured in the traveling exhibition of The Fabric of India from holdings of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and private collections that was at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida from July 7 to October 13 2019.

Both were the workmanship one of the artisan Dayalal Kudecha in Bhujodi, Kutch, Gujarat circa 2014. (See page 220 of the Exhibition Catalog V&A Publishing 2019, edited by Rosemary Crill, illustrating how traditional techniques are being adapted to a contemporary context).  

This piece was acquired from the artist in Bhuj.

*

*

Details of P25

*

*

*

*

P26

*

*

P26 is a woman’s ceremonial skirt “pha sin”  made by the Tai Nuea people, Sam Nuea region, Laos in silk, cotton natural dyes, weft ikat, supplementary weft weave.  

This is an archaic banded form, alternating between cotton bands of indigo ikat and silk bands of red ikat with highlights of different colors.  The red bands contain the serpent motif (nak) viewed from above, while the blue-black bands show the same creature in writhing profile.  

See p. 216 of Textiles of Southeast Asia by Robyn Maxwell, published by Periplus Editions 2003 (HK) for a similar example.

Details of P26.

*

*

*

P27

*

*

P27 is a Syrian ikat woman’s jacket (salteh) similar to one recently featured at the exhibition of David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection at UCLA’s Fowler Museum: Dressed with Distinction: Garments From Ottoman Syria which ran from March 17-August 25.  

Late 19th century, silk, cotton, metallic thread, weft faced weave, slit tapestry technique, and metallic embroidery.

Here is a full view of the front.

*

*

Details of P27.

*

*

*

Below is a sleeve extended.

*

*

*

*

A really beautiful coat.

*

Steve took questions and brought his session to a close.

*

*

*

Tom Goehner announced that he was leaving the Textile Museum and this was his last RTAM.

*

*

Tom has been with the Textile Museum for 11 years.  We wish him well.

Hope you have enjoyed Steve’s strong program.

R. John Howe

Fred Mushkat on Warp-faced Textiles of the Nomads of Iran

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2020 by rjohn

On August 6, 2016, Fred Mushkat

*

Fred12*

gave a Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning program, here at the Textile Museum here in Washington, DC on the subject of

*

Slide1

Fred said that when he first started to collect textiles he was simply buying the most beautiful things that he could afford.  Then he decided that his real interest was ethnographic and this took him to bands and other warp-faced nomad textiles that seemed most likely to have been made for use rather than for sale.  Fred’s program also provided a preview of a book that he is writing on such textiles.

In his work life, Fred is a medical doctor, specializing in emergency medicine.  He is also a skilled photographer and is dedicated to making the best cup of espresso he can.

Fred began with an illustrated lecture.

*

Fred3*

Slide2 *

Qashqa’i dwellings were rectangular goat-hair tents that did not require tent bands for stabilization. Photo: Julia Bailey

*

Slide3*

In this rare photograph, the roof of the goat-hair tent is adorned with lines of animals and large tufts. Hanging from the front edge of the roof are large tassels of colored wool attached to long braided cords. Sometimes a band with similar braids and tassels would be temporarily attached to the front of the roof on special occasions.

*Slide4 *

In this photo, a Qashqa’i woman sits in front of the baggage pile that occupies the rear of the tent along the entire width. The baggage pile is covered with a flat woven textile. On the right side of the tent, a small bag is attached to the pole. These bags often held cooking utensils or weaving tools such as a spindle. Photo: Peter Andrews, 1970

*

Slide5*

Qashqa’i tents could be quite large and tall, as in this photo of a khan’s tent. Photo: Peter Andrews, 1970. 

*Slide6 *

In this tent, the floor is covered with carpets. A long gelim, typically woven with weft-faced patterning, covers the baggage pile. Along the front of the roof line hangs a cord attached to which are large tassels. Above the baggage pile, along the rear wall is another group of tassels that may be attached to a woven band. Photo: Peter Andrews, 1970

*Slide8 *

A long gelim covers the baggage pile with bedding neatly piled above it.  The side of the goat-hair tent has been raised to allow ventilation.  The white cloth protects woven textiles from being stained with food. In the foreground on the left is a woman in Western clothing, perhaps a visitor.  The khan on the right, second from the end, wears the traditional hat of the Qashqa’i Photo: Roland & Sabrina Michaud, 1970.

*

Slide9*

The baggage pile in this tent is covered by a jajim. This weaving takes less time to make than a gelim. It is neither warp-faced or weft faced, as it is made with a twill weave in which one side of the cloth is warp-predominant, while the other is weft predominant. Reciprocal triangles separate the narrow bands of color; the wider section has a long row of stepped diamonds. Large tassels are attached to the bottom length of the jajim. >Photo: Peter Andrews, 1970>

*Slide10 *

The baggage in this photo is placed upon a bed of rocks to keep the bedding bags dry. The baggage (bedding bags) is then covered by an elaborate long gelim with horizontal panels, no two of which appear to be alike. Photo: Peter Andrews, 1970

*

Slide11*

This is the same baggage pile with the gelim folded back to expose the separate bedding bags. Commonly called mafrash, the Qashqa’i refer to these woven containers as marfaj. They are generally woven with various structures of weft-faced patterning. Rarely, these were made with a warp-faced structure. Photo: Peter Andrews, 1970

*

Slide12 *

During transport, the bedding bags, which were made in pairs, were loaded on each side of a pack animal to balance the load. This required the work of multiple men. In this photo a camel is being readied for the day’s travel. Photo, Ullens de Schooten, 1956

*

Slide13*

Here the man is loading a donkey in preparation for transit. He is using a plaited cord to secure the load on a donkey. In former times, warp-faced bands were used for this purpose. Photo, MohammadReza Baharnaz.>

*

Slide14 *

In order to prevent slippage that would cause the load to be unbalanced, the cord (or band) must be tightened as much as possible.

*

Slide15

*

Digard, an anthropologist who lived among the Bakhtiyari, drew a schematic for wrapping a load on a pack animal using a cord. In the drawing, there is a buckle that can be used to pull the cord as tight as possible to secure the load. 

*Slide16 *

In this photo by Roland and Sabrina Michaud, Qashqa’i tribespeople are migrating. Donkeys, mules and camels are the pack animals; horses were considered too special to be used for carrying loads. In this photo from 1970, all of the visible loads are secured with plaited ropes. All of the buckles are intentionally placed on the right side of the baggage load. The buckles on the left and right of the photo appear identical.  

*

Slide17*

Fred then moved on to discuss the various structures used to make warp-faced weavings. The most basic of these structures is warp-faced plain weave, as seen in this slide. Each warp goes over a weft, then under the next weft repeating succession. This gives the fabric the appearance of horizontal ribbing. Image from The Primary Structure of Fabrics, Irene Emory.

*

Slide18 *

By comparison, weft-faced weaving creates patterns by moving under and over warps. In this slide, each weft goes over a warp, then under the next, repeating until a color change is desired. This structure is known as slit tapestry weave. At the color change, the yarn reverses direction. This structure creates vertical slits between colors. To improve structural integrity, the vertical slits are minimized in length. Small cruciform designs and stepped triangles are used for this purpose. Note that the background pattern in weft-faced weaving creates a vertical ribbing.

*

Slide19*

This structure is warp-faced plain weave with warp substitution. The pattern is created by warps moving over and under wefts, as in warp-faced plain weave, The unneeded warps float on the back of the weaving until a color change is desired to make a given pattern. At that point the different colors change position, with the former now floating on the back while the latter begin moving above and below the wefts. These are one sided cloths, as the pattern is clearly visible on the obverse, while the reverse side shows lengths of warp floats. Image from Woven Structures, Marla Mallett.

*Slide20 *

This slide shows a structure known as warp-faced alternating float weave. A warp goes over three wefts then under one. The adjacent warps are one over then one under. The next warp goes under one weft (the middle weft of the three that the first warp traveled over) then over three. Image from The Primary Structure of Fabrics, Irene Emory.

*

Slide21*

Alternating the float of the warps creates a slotted appearance of the face of the weaving. The Qashqa’i call this structure kalak. The repeating mirror image design of this band resembles the letter “A”placed sideways.

*

Slide22 *

On the back side of the weaving, the design can barely be made out.

*

Slide23*

This is a detail of a Shahsavan band made with the same structure. The repeating motif is an identical detail to the sideways letter “A” seen in the previous Qashqa’i band. This design, which is rare in any other structure, is a reminder of the common origins of the Shahsevan and Qashqa’i.

*Slide24 *

The most common structure for warp-faced bands is warp-faced one-weft double cloth. This structure is two-layered, with a common weft thread that moves from front to back as the weaving progresses. Used for tensile strength to hold loads on animals, this structure is the strongest of all the warp-faced weavings. The strength is derived from the two layers, but just as important, it is the exchange of warps moving from one side to the other that locks the two layers together. A limiting factor to the strength of double cloth bands is the absence of horizontal pattern exchanges, because the warps are not changing position between the layers. This band broke at this place because of a longer run without many such warp exchanges.

*

Slide25*

Here the two layers are peeled apart up to the area of a horizontal exchange that covers the width of the field.

*

Slide26*

Warp-faced one-weft double cloth creates a textile with the colors reversed between the layers. One side of the cloth “reads” better; in general, the side with a dark ground color in the field has clearer design elements. Light motifs on a dark ground in the top photo are more distinct than the reverse side in the middle photo. A common weaving error in weaving double cloth is “dropped warps on the underside as the weaving progresses. The bottom photo shows multiple areas in which the red warps miss, or drop, a weft on the underside of the band.

*   Slide28 *

These two photos are the outer and inner sides of a rare marfaj woven in double cloth. Unlike a narrow band, this weave is about a meter wide. When Fred examined this container closely, he noticed that  the outer side had dark blue wefts that are most visible between the undyed cotton warps that make up the quadruped (top photo). When he looked at the inside layer of the container, he noticed that the wefts were red (bottom photo). Rather than being one-weft double cloth, this weaving has two wefts, one for each side. This warp-faced two-weft double cloth is not documented anywhere in the textile literature. After finding this structure, Fred began looking at other containers and has discovered the same two weft construction on another marfaj and on a number of Qashqa’i single and double bags. At this time, no other weaving culture in Iran is known to have used this structure.

*

Slide29*

At the beginning of the weaving of a band, it is difficult to pack the wefts tightly. The effect of this is to make the band wider, looser and weaker at the start of the weaving. To improve the structural integrity of the band and consequently to minimize breakage, this band had a few rows of wefts woven after which the end of the band was removed from the loom in order to tightly pack the wefts more than could be done on the loom. After the wefts were tightly beaten, the band was reattached to the loom and weaving was continued. Bands that had this treatment were significantly narrower at the start of the weaving, as this slide demonstrates.

*

Slide31 *

Qashqa’i women often marked the start and/or end of the weaving of a band by making one or more rows of weft twining. Typically these rows are in colors that strongly contrast with the rest of the weaving. In this slide, two weft twining rows are spaced a few centimeters apart at the end of the weaving, just before the braided end. Rows of weft twining also appear on gelims, skirts of rugs, and on bands of other groups, including Khamseh and Shahsevan.

*

Slide32*

Bands are secured by pushing a loop of the body of the band through a hole in the buckle. A wooden peg is put in the loop and the band is tightened. This method makes a securely tight load on a pack animal.

*Slide33 *

Dating of pack-animal bands is problematic. Peter Andrews did research on the Qashqa’i and Shahsevan in the early 1970s and noted that a pack animal band had a lifespan of about ten years. A wooden or forged iron buckle could be removed and placed on a new band. This band may be the only known pack-animal band with a date. There are three places where there may be a date of 1331.  In the solar calendar, the date is roughly 1952; in the lunar (hirji) calendar, the date is roughly 1913.

*

Slide34*

Designs on double cloth bands are limited by the risk of weakening the structure. Long areas of solid color are weaker than areas with many exchanges of warps from front to back. Additionally, too much asymmetry from side to side of a design may distort the band and make one side weaker. This design, an “S” shape, has many slotted areas in the yellow design, and the image is symmetrical both horizontal and vertically.  The “S” shape appears in many structures and in many variations. It may represent a dragon. 

*

Slide35 *

This is a detail of the Berlin Dragon and Phoenix rug, which dates to the fifteenth century. It has an “S” shape in the minor border of this pile rug that is similar to the one in the preceding slide. Marla Mallett has written about how designs from a restrictive format, like double cloth, are more likely to have originated there rather than on a minimally restrictive format such as pile weaving. In other words, it is easier to adopt a design from a restrictive format to pile weaving rather than vice versa.

*

Slide36*

This octagonal design is commonly found on Qashqa’i bands. It is named o’i guli, or the flower of the band. This design is also common on Qashqa’i double cloth containers.

*

Slide37 *

This design is a zigzag that the Qashqa’i call ILANAG. To maintain a sound structure, filler motifs are placed along the zigzag. 

*

Slide38*

This is another design found on many Qashqa’i double cloth bands and containers.

*

Slide39 *

To demonstrate the similarity between this design among the Qashqa’i and Shahsevan, here are three versions on Shahsevan bands, some of which have only this one design in an endless repeat.

*

Slide40*

Several known Qashqa’i bands display a snake-like design with what appear to be fangs, adjacent to a rooster.

*

Slide41 *

Others have human representations.  Some display genitals to distinguish the sexes. In this band, this is a male figure.

*

Slide42*

Adjacent to the male is another figure without male genitalia and with blocky areas on the chest representing breasts.

*Slide43

*

In this band, a male figure (on the right) is toe-to-toe with a female figure. I have shown this image in other talks and some people felt that the lines for the genitals on both figures are simply weaving mistakes.

*

Slide44*

In another Qashqa’i band, there is a similar arrangement of two people, with similar genital representation. One such band with this design could be considered a fluke, but two such similar designs suggest that this imagery may be part of the Qashqa’i design tradition.

*Slide45 *

Bands are woven on ground looms. In this photo, the completed band is moved underneath the unwoven group of warps on top. The woman is using a plank of wood with a narrowed edge for a weft beater. 

*

Slide46*

A Qashqa’i woman wearing a white and pink skirt is riding a camel during a migration in the 1970s. The camel on the right has plaited cords holding the load instead of a woven band.

*Slide47 *

This is a detail of a Qashqa’i warp-faced one-weft double cloth cover, woven in two pieces that if connected, would be roughly the size of a gelim.  To Fred’s knowledge, no other gelim-like weaving is known with this structure. On one of the panels, there is a single image, seen above, in brown on a blue background. The dealer who sold this believed the design is a representation of the double eagle that is part of the imperial coat of arms of czar Nicholas II of Russia. 

*

Slide48*

Here is the double eagle. How could this design possibly appear on a Qashqa’i weaving? I asked Peter Andrews, who did field work among the Qashqa’i in the early 1970s and he mentioned that some Qashqa’i had a Russian samovar in their tent. These were made in an imperial factory and were marked with the double eagle coat of arms. If the design on this unusual double cloth cover is indeed the double eagle, then a Qashqa’i weaver could have copied the design on to her weaving because she liked it.

Fred had brought a number of pieces and moved treat them next.

*

Fred5*

FM1

*

*

The narrow bag is a baladan, made to hold weaving tools like a spindle or to hold cooking utensils. These were placed on the rear pole of the tent. It is woven in warp-faced alternating float weave and was made in the United States by a Qashqa’i expatriate. She wove it in 2012. 

*

FM2

*

*

Another weaving in warp-faced alternating float weave, it is the size of a small bag face. A Qashqa’i weaver in Iran made it in 2011. By far, it is the finest alternating float weaving Fred has ever come across. These continue to be made as gifts between family members and friends to be hung on a wall or placed on a table.

*

FM3

*

*

C:This short band (2’2″) is a rump band. It has only one motif- a parade of quadrupeds all facing the same direction. The braids are decorated with small bone segments.  There have been many of these made for the market by breaking up a long band. This old example appears to have been made specifically as a short band for decorating an animal.

*

FM4

*

*

At the top of this photo are two other short bands. The topmost band is about the same size as the previous rump band with braids and tassels. It appears to be unused. It was purchased in the late 1990s during a time in which many fakes of rugs and bag faces were appearing. Since one-weft double cloth became a rare structure after the mid 20th century, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would go to the trouble of making a reproduction (or know how), especially since the demand for such pieces was nearly nonexistent. Qashqa’i and other nomads were known to make containers, gelims  and bands then store them away until there was a need to put them into service.  For this reason, a number of exceptional bands show little or no wear. Small items like this band may have been keep as keepsakes to honor the memory of a family member. Likewise, the same circumstances may apply to the occasional container in other structures which were never put into service and never had edge joins that would close a bag face to its back. Such weavings did not enter the market until there was a significant need to sell it.

*

FM5

*

*

The blue background on the top band is a deep blue-nearly black. This color is made by repeated dying until the blu-black effect is achieved. The Qashqa’i call this sorme’i. The workmanship is excellent; it may well have been saved as a keepsake for several generations before it was ultimately sold into the market.  The lower band is too short to have been used as an animal trapping. It is well drawn and does not appear to have been a practice piece. A number of the small tassels attached to the sides of the band are missing and the braids are worn, suggesting this diminutive band was put to use, but its function remains unknown.

*

FM6

*

*

C:This tiny bag with a single design on each side is made with warp-faced one-weft double cloth. It is about four inches wide. Small bags this size were often the first bag a young girl made, although more often in a different structure. It was used to hold a small mirror. 

*

FM7

*

*

This is an older example of a baladan, used to hold spindles or cooking utensils. These were often made in unmatched pairs, one for each rear corner tent pole. 

*

FM8

*

*

Shown earlier to demonstrate weft-faced weaving, this is a small single Qashqa’i bag made with wool and white cotton in slit-tapestry weave. Each vertical step of the triangles is a small slit. Keeping these vertical slits small improves the strength and longevity of the bag. 

*

FM9

*

*

This baladan is made with goat hair and is rather coarsely woven. It is difficult to determine which side is the front, as the back has an equally strong appearance

*

FM10

*

*

C:A grouping of Qashqa’i bands, the narrowest is on the far left; the widest is third from the right. The two short fragments on the far right are used to help stabilize the tent.

*

FM11

*

A detail of a band woven in warp-faced alternating float weave. the “over three under one structure creates the slotted appearance. Between the two “A” shaped motifs, in mirror image, are large and small “X” forms with additional horizontal arms, creating a spoke-like effect.

*

FM12

*

*

This detail is from what may be the oldest Qashqa’i band known. The deep orange on a dark blue ground is uncommon. The top portion of the photo shows a tree-like design. Like the example before it and the following band, the borders of Qashqa’i bands are often alternating “S” or “Z” shapes in red or orange and green.

FM13

e and the following band, the borders of Qashqa’i bands *

*

This is another rare color combination on an old band-gold on dark blue. The large “S” shape at the bottom of the photo is often referred to as a dragon motif.

FM14

*

*

Fred stated that he did not believe that the  three “X” shapes within its body of the quadruped represent unborn calves. Rather, they are filler motifs put there to avoid long spaces without any color change. Leaving the body of the quadruped empty would potentially create weak spots when tension is applied to the band.

*

FM15

*

*

Tree and shrub forms are common Qashqa’i bands. On some bands, a bird sits or hovers at the top of the tree.

*

FM16

*

*

In this double weave band, the individual motifs are separated by horizontal zigzags with tiny filler designs. The horizontally aligned double-hooked motifs on the ivory ground represent the clever use of ground reversal, in which the background color (dark blue) makes a pattern on the foreground color (ivory). 

*

FM17

*

*

In this band the zigzag is aligned along the length of the band with large filler motifs within the triangles formed by change of direction of the main pattern. The design is reminiscent of the so-called “leaf and wine cup” border often seen on Caucasian rugs. 

*

FM18

*

*

At nine centimeters, this is the widest Qashqa’i pack-animal band. It is also the thickest band of those Fred has examined. The wider format allows for larger motifs, creating a bold and striking appearance. 

*

FM19*

*

This is another grouping of bands that were displayed. The band on the left uses ground reversal to make a dark blue rectangle with six projections that loosely form an octagon, but this can be seen in different ways depending on how one groups the polygons.

*

FM25

*

*

A grouping of bands and bags that Fred had brought in.

*

FM26

*

*

Although not from Iran, Fred brought a couple of Anatolian weft beaters. Intricately carved, both have dates from the early to mid nineteenth century.

*

FM27

*

*

These weft beaters are short because they were made for weaving bands that were narrower than its length.

FM28

*

*

A group of designs from the wide Qashqa’i band, including one in the middle of the photo that may be an animal or animal pelt design.

*

FM29

*

*

The quadrupeds in this band have a distinctive club-like tail

*

FM30

*

*

This band and buckle seem to have been made for one another. The center warps are braided then looped around a narrow opening, then sewn tight around it. The buckle has characteristic stamped concentric circles and carved triangles.

*

FM31

*

*

C:A number of nomadic groups, n one more so than the Qashqa’i. make a design of linked triangles. In this motif all of the triangles are aligned in the same direction and have projections at each base of the triangle.

*

FM32

*

*

In this section of the same band, cruciform designs dominate.

*

FM35

*

*

This portion of the band shows another version of the design shaped like an animal pelt, below which are two human forms.

*

FM36

*

*

When the bottoms of the triangles face one another, an interesting ground reversal pattern in blue is created.

*

FM37

*

*

Another example of ground reversal occurs in the rightmost segment of this band The pairs of white “S” forms are vertically stacked; in the ground reversal image, the “S” forms take on a more abstract shape with half of the “S” forms on each side of it.

*

FM38

*

*

The orange motifs in this band could be a representation of humans with exaggerated arms and hands, or it could be a floral form. Nevertheless, the linked images create a complex zigzag pattern.

*

FM39

*

*

This snake-like zigzag has a slotted structure to maintain structural integrity, which is also improved by having the diamond-shaped filler motifs at each change in direction.

*

FM40

*

*The back of the same area of the band shows the color reversal of the front.

*

FM41

*

*

A well-drawn rooster sits just above a tall shrub that is topped by a boteh-like design.

*

FM45

*

*

A band made in warp-faced alternating float weave is shown (front and back) along with a baladan in the same structure with the same design. Bags with this structure are more common than the bands. It is likely that bands made in this structure were less able to withstand the wear and tear of use as a pack-animal band. This would make such bands less likely to survive and less likely to be made in the first place.

Fred also pointed out that if these weavings were museum holdings, anyone handling them would be wearing cloth gloves. In an effort to demonstrate the value of carefully handling our own rare textiles and giving them the care and respect they deserve, an assistant is wearing cotton gloves. Members of the audience were invited to handle these weavings after the talk and were also asked to wear cotton gloves, which Fred provided.

*

FM46

*

*

The wooden buckle on a band made with alternating float weave is coarsely carved and has a slight twist along its length. The bent piece of wood from which the buckle was carved does not affect its function but does add to its appeal.

*

FM 47

*

*

Because there can only be two colors along any vertical span of a double cloth band, additional colors are introduced by adding tufts or pieces of cloth to the field or the edges of a band. These can be part of the weaving and applied while on the loom, or the tufts can be added after the band is removed from the loom.

*

Fred15

*

*

Fred brought a number of related weavings. This large cover is a jajim. The Persians call this type of cover a moj, a term that the Qashqa’i do not use but is used in the trade. It is not strictly a warp-faced weaving. Made with a type of twill weave, it is warp-predominant on one side and weft predominant on the other side. Qashqa’i jajims are made on a ground loom in one long strip that is cut in half and joined at the sides. This example has harmonious colors and is an example of woven minimalism.

Fred16

*

*

This is a rare example of a complete double bag (khorjin) with a structure of warp-faced two-weft double cloth. The Qashqa’i, more than any other nomads in Iran, often made the backs of their khorjins as or more interesting than the fronts, as this khorjin demonstrates. 

Fred17

*

*

Fred displayed a Qashqa’i horse cover with some unusual features. It has two halves, joined in the center. The only design is the o’i guli, the flower of the band. The bottom half of the field has numerous silk tufts, some of which are nearly worn away. The main body of the horse cover is made with warp-faced plain weave with warp substitution. The flaps at the top, which are to go around the underside of the horse’s neck, are constructed of warp-faced one-weft double cloth. It is remarkable that the weaver was able to carry the field and border designs seamlessly through this change in structure. It is likely that double cloth was used for the flaps to improve the longevity of the horse cover, since that is an area of increased friction and stress.

Fred18

*

*

 This weaving is a cover made with one-weft double cloth. The two unjoined sides were each made on a separate loom. The two parts were meant to be joined together, but it appears from its nearly perfect condition that the cover was never put into use and were never joined. There are no other covers known to have been made with double cloth. Fred pointed out the design in the lower portion of one side that has the appearance of a two-headed eagle, similar to the coat of arms of Czar Nicholas II.

Fred19

*

*

Notice in the images above that Fred is wearing gloves.  In this session, he made a point of recommending that we do so regularly when we handle textiles.  This is good advice that we almost never follow in these RTAM sessions.  In the next two images below, he is encouraging the folks, helping in his session, to “glove up.”

*

*

*

Fred answered questions and brought his session to a close.

*

*

People were eager to see this material up close and to ask more questions.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

I thank Fred for coming and giving us this excellent program on some material that is both beautiful and unusual.

As I said in the announcing email, Fred’s program drew on a book he had been working on for several years and that has since this program was held, is soon to be published./strong>

*

*

Weavings of Nomads in Iran: Warp-faced Bands and Related Textiles

You can find it at:

https://www.amazon.com/Weavings-Nomads-Iran-Warp-faced-Textiles/dp/1898113807

My thanks, too to Fred for patiently working with me to fashion this virtual version of his program

Regards,

R. John Howe

RTAM on “Mike” Tschebull’s New Book

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2020 by rjohn

Dear folks –

On November 2, 2019, Raoul “Mike” Tschebull

*

*

gave a Rug and Textile Appreciation program here at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC on the occasion of the publication of his book “Qarajeh to Quba: Rugs and Flatweaves from East Azarbayjan and the Transcaucasus.”

*

illust. a

*

*

Mike is a long-time figure in the rug and textile world.  Most of us know him first through his catalog “Kazak” 

*

illust. b

*

*

 

for an exhibition he curated in 1971.  This catalog is seen as a pioneering effort. It seems to be the first serious treatment of Kazak rugs, as a discrete group for exhibition purposes. It is also noteworthy because it resists descriptions that draw on the market place but instead offers “taxonomic” ones that center on materials and structure.

Mike has also been visible elsewhere in the international textile literature. Robert Pinner and Michael Franses selected an article Mike wrote, on Lori pile weaving, for inclusion in the first issue of Hali ever published. 

He contributed to the catalogue “Yoruk: The Nomadic Weaving Tradition in the Middle East,” edited by Tony Landreau, 1978.

*

illust. c

*


*

Has been a frequent contributor to Hali and curated one of the first on-line textile exhibitions “To Have and to Hold,” January, 2004, for the New England Rug Society.  You can still see it on their web site.  http://www.ne-rugsociety.org/gallery/bags/index.htm,  

He has lectured and given textile presentations around the U.S. and overseas, including several RTAMs here at the Textile Museum, the most recent one of the latter was on Zeikhur Caucasian rugs.  

https://rjohnhowe.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/mike-tschebull-on-zeikhur-caucasian-rugs/

Last year, he worked with James Opie to give a talk at a collectors’ event in the Santa Barbara, CA, organized by Brian Morehouse.  Their talk was entitled “Structural Variation and Design Evolution in Lur/Bakhtiyar Bags.”  That indicates that Mike’s interests and the perspective in his Hali 1 article have persisted. He wrote about an unusual pile rug from the same area for Ghereh43, Turin, in 2007. And in the current issue 201 of Hali, there is an article, “Kazaks Revisited,” extracted from the book that is the focus of today’s program.

*

illust. d

*

*

 

For years, Mike has worked on the book he talked about in this session.  Some of us have hoped that Mike might write a book on Caucasian rugs to replace Schurmann, but if you devote years to writing a book, you are entitled to write the book you want.

And that is what Mike has done.  He has written a book about rugs and flatweaves from an area that has long attracted his interest and attention.  

Broadly speaking, he has a strong interest in, and has collected rugs and pile-less textile material woven by, nomads and villagers on an “unsupervised” basis in an area “in northwestern Iran” East Azarbayjan, plus the Transcaucasus and part of Dagestan.  

He says in his Introduction that he was very taken with the possibility of “understanding the various inputs into this weaving culture” and he managed in 1996 and 1997 to travel to and do field work in rural East Azarbayjan.  The edited results of this observation are included in this volume in marked passages describing the geography, its inhabitants and living conditions. Inclusion of his expurgated and edited field notes was a major motivator to move ahead on the effort. 

As his book title indicates, one of Mike’s agendas is to bring English spellings closer to the way that given words are pronounced by native speakers. Danny Shaffer, the book’s editor, has adopted the shorthand “Q2Q” for the title.  Even I can say that.

There are a lot of Transcaucasian and Azarbayjani pile rugs treated but a lot of attention is also paid to jajims and tapestry-woven kilims, whose warp and weft-faced structures are restrictive and so less likely to be made for sale. 

*

illust. e

*

*

Jajims, which can be beautiful, are a format often not treated as seriously as they are here.

Mike writes a good English sentence and his text is accessible. His descriptions emphasize “taxonomic” aspects, but he still also celebrates what he sees as design progression.

This book is a Hali Publications product.  Mike entrusted the photography of the pieces in the book to Don Tuttle and the result is of the superior sort we have come to expect from him.

We need, also, to say that this book is published under the auspices of the Near Eastern Art Research Center, established by Joe McMullan in 1962, to provide support for publications in the field of Islamic carpets.

*

illust. f

*

*

With this introduction, Mike began:

*

1

*

*

2

*

Mike:

Russ Pickering said that your collection will disappear anonymously if you don’t document it.

Walter Denny said you have 50 years of accumulated knowledge and contacts that will disappear if you don’t document them.

Valid points, and I enjoyed the R&D. 

*

2

*

*

Joe MicMullan’s book (above left) on his own collection is so good that some have said he couldn’t have written it (the ultimate compliment).

And Russ Pickering’s books, first on flatweaves (above right) before anyone treated them seriously, and subsequently, on Moroccan rugs and textiles, are good examples of self published books based on personal rug and textile collections. 

And they both wrote more than these titles above. 

Commercial publishers won’t provide an outlet, for the most part. Some call such efforts “Vanity Publishing,” But these guys had a thorough knowledge of the subject, good contacts for research, made lots of time available, and of course the cash for publication, which is less of a factor.

But the cash issue is not the impediment – it’s the time needed. 

Self publishing and writing up one’s own material is less common than getting a pro to do it. But using an outsider muffles the collector’s message.

*

3

*

*

Jim Burns spent 6.5 years working on his book on Kurdish weaving (above lefts). My friend, Hamid Sadighi, self-published his own kilim collection (above right) and donated it to a local Berlin museum.

*

4

*

*

A little about “nuts and bolts” of such an effort.

In general, art book costs, over time, have come down and quality has gone up. 

*

5

*

*

First chapter heading efforts:. The designers suggested  “tone-on-tone with a detail from a Kazak as background.” (above here) Then, random details on a plain beige background.  (lower above.) 

I wanted to see other versions.

I suggested taking selected motifs from some of the rugs and flat weaves and Photoshopping them into stylized versions. But the designers could not render a clean image – see upper version. But what ultimately worked was taking the PS motifs into Adobe Illustrator and using them as a guide underneath the designers’ drawing. Of course, due to the nature of the motifs, the designers had to use an element of artistic license to capture the motifs as accurately as possible.

*

6

*

*

We agreed on which ones worked best, lower in the pair above.  A stylized version, very close to the real version.

7

*

*

Dark blue background worked well. The motif in the blue ground panel above with the device, above right, taken from a rug

*

Below are large images of the two above.  First the one on the left and then under it, the one on the right.

7 left

*

7 right

*

*

8

*

*

Here are two larger versions of the two images above, arranged vertically.  First the chapter heading graphic, on the left and then the rug on the right.

8 left

*

*

8 right

*

*

About the Transcaucasus: There is little early fieldwork, data or much current expertise. Limited photos, all late, most from Russian sources. 

One of the best studies of material culture, illustrated, left, below.

9

*

About the Transcaucasus: There is

*

Larger images of 8.

9 left

*

*

9 right

*

*

10

*

11

*

Mike (and some other authorities) believe that the oldest Caucasian village rugs we have are not older than the early 19th century.  He says “The earliest dated Transcaucasian prayer rug has an inwoven date of 1809, and I have a Kazak dated 1808, so there are very early 19th century Transcaucasian village rugs. They just don’t seem to have survived in numbers, and there were probably not very many to begin with.”

How selected designs evolved.

Note: Mike’s estimates of design progression seem based, in the case of embroideries/tiles (which, like pile rugs, are digital), first on age estimates (using traditional methods).  The embroideries used are estimated to be considerably older than the pile rug examples. 

Mike writes this sentence early on in his book: “…While it is correct that many pile rug motifs come from a variety of non-textile sources – including glass, architectural, metalwork, miniatures, stucco and ceramics, among others – they seem largely filtered through some textile medium.”

As Bob Emry has pointed out, the German collectors who selected “older” Turkman textiles for Jurg Rageth to do carbon dating and dye and mordant analysis on, demonstrated that there is something to their traditional age estimates (the subsequent carbon dating and dye and mordant analysis showed that the textiles they selected as “older” were confirmed to be that).

 

 

 

Groups of experienced collectors, using traditional methods of age estimate may be able to identify “older” pieces, successfully and sometimes to place pieces in an age sequence (e.g., given three textiles estimated to be “older,” successfully identify the oldest and the youngest), based on among other factors – dye quality, variety of use, and complexity of design. Traditional age estimates are not scale-able.  To some degree, that had to wait, as available, for the results of the carbon dating, and dye and mordant analysis.

For example, Mike’s embroidery vs pile rug age estimates also seem to draw on the frequent convention that older design versions tend to be more complex and articulated and that a degree of simplification and conventionalization is visible in younger textiles.

And it is widely seen that the range of colors used in given Transcaucasian and Azarbayjani pieces narrows, as we come forward in time, and that multiple shades of a given color, and the presence of yellows, green, and especially complex shades of purple, are thought to be indicators of age.

Mike: Embroideries were a major design source for Kazaks.   Sometimes  also tile designs.

Mike sees the design of the “Lori Pambak” Kazak pile rug, below left, as sourced in the Transcaucasian silk, on the right, below, estimated 17th/18th century. He says that such design progressions are not linear and discusses this one at length in his book.

11

*

*

Larger images of 11.

11 left

*

*

11 right

*

*

12

Star Kazak (below, left) – based on a tile design sourced thru embroidery (below, right).

Star Kazak (below, left) – based on a tile design sourced thru embroidery (below, right).

*

*

 

Larger images of 12.

12 left

*

*

12 right

*

*

Zeikhur rug detail (below, left), from a full rug is 60 on page 237 in Mike’s book.  Woven in the northeast Transcaucasus.  Mike says that this “Alpan” design (he thinks the name may be geographically accurate) likely came to pile rugs, initially via tiles and then through embroideries, (the latter, (below, right) estimated as early as the 17th century.

13

*

*

Larger images of the pieces in 13.

13 left

*

*

13 right

*

*

13 left, above, is a design device Mike discussed in a previous post.  Because it is one for which he also has a tile precursor, I have inserted it here, below.

illust. g.

*

JSlide12

*

The Zeikhur field design in illust. g left, is of interest, because it is based on a tile design, probably originally unglazed floor tiles, as in the right hand image in illust g above.

The orientation of the slide helps make clear the comparison of the long hexagonal tiles to the diagonal cartouches in the rug, left; the repeat medallions in the rug are represented by the diamond-shaped tiles (see larger images below).

*

illust. g left

*

JSlide12left*

illustr. g right

*

JSlide12right*

turned detail of illustr. of g right

*

JSlide12rightdetail*

How was the design so widely distributed? Armenian traders?

*

Pinwheel Kazak pile rug (below, left), (Schurmann, 4).  Mike estimates that the Schurmann rug was woven about 1850.  He sees the “pinwheel” design sourced thru a simple design used in embroideries and some Turkish textiles and rugs.  He once owned the one (below, right) and estimates it to the 18th century.

*

14

*

*

Larger images of pieces in 14.

14 left

*

*

14 right

*

*

Qasim Ushak pile rug (below, left)   Schurmann says the pile rugs were woven by “isolated Kurdish tribes” of Karabagh.  Eiland and Eiland say Kurdish weavers often suggested but Armenian weavers also possible.  Structure of some Qasim Ushak pile rugs is similar to that of the “Caucasian” dragon rugs. Mike: “Who says this? My question.”

There seems agreement that the Qasim Ushak pile rug designs (below, left) are, also, sourced in earlier Caucasian embroideries (below, right).  

There are no early pile examples, and the rug design may have been created by dealers some time after about 1875, based on dated examples. Transcaucasian embroideries that survived were probably quilt-top decoration for the well-to-do.

*

15

*

*

Larger images of the pieces in 15.

*

15 left

*

*

15 right

15 right is Schurmann, 139. estimated to the 17 century.

*

*

Warp-faced flat-woven jajims (below, right), a more restrictive structure than pile, is also a likely design source of pile “prayer” rugs such as the one below, left.

*

16

*

*

Larger images of 16.

16 left

*

*

16 right

*

*

Kashmiri and Indian textiles (below, right) as a design source – widespread.  Botehs, or flowers in a grid are a 19th century Indian import (below, left).

*

17

*

*

Larger versions of 17.

17 left

*

*

17 right

*

*

Marching peacocks fragment (below, left) + detail (below, right). Rug design likely derived from sumak bags, but an earlier origin is likely Iranian bronzes.

18

*

*

19

But specifically illustrated here by a sumak bedding bag side, viewed vertically. The only logical way the village weaver could have come up with the pile rug design idea was to have seen the similar design bedding bag. How else would the hooked medallions in the rug have been rendered in the squeezed way that they are? The marching peacocks in both objects march north.

*

*

Larger versions of details of borders of pieces in 19.

19 left

*

*

19 right

*

 

*

20

*

Burns frag, Armenian script, two frags assembled (below, left) and bird detail (below, right). The rug is photographed from the top end, so the peacocks appear upside down.

*

*

 

Larger versions of 20.

20 left

*

*

20 right

*

*

21

*

Complete Rippon marching peacocks (below, left) vs. fragment (seen above).  There are so few rugs with this design. 

*

*

 

*

Larger versions of 21.

21 left

The Rippon example, 21 left.

*

21 right

*

*

22

*

Mike: “Weaving in East Azarbayjan: A society composed of urbanites, villagers and nomads, each turning out distinctive products, the latter two groups much less affected by commerce than weavers in the Transcaucasus. Most of the field pictures are mine.”

*

Next slide is a map of East Azarbayjan (below), from Mike’s book, showing topographical features.

*

23

(click on the map below to get a larger version)

*

*

Mike drew attention to how trade routes likely moved goods the 350 miles from Baku to Tabriz and beyond. Silk, rice, rugs, textiles, etc. headed south on camels before there were railroads. He traveled a lot of this trade route during his visits to Eastern Azarbayjan in 1996 and 1997.

He is careful to say that we don’t know for sure what these trade routes were but the topography strongly suggests that the must have at least in part been something like what I have outlined in red below.

*

23, marked in red

*

*

Mike: “I didn’t see villages on the escarpment (ed. that is the only really difficult part to traverse). Much of the area along this trade route I think existed is pretty barren.”

In his field notes, Mike talks about one instance in which it was important to be “on the ground.”  This is a long passage that I need to quote:

“The east-west valley between the Bozgush mountain range and the Sabalan rises about 35 km east of Sarab, and there is a series of ridges and canyons through which the eastbound road forms tortuous switchbacks before coming down to a much lower elevation at a town called Nir.

“There one sees the the headwaters of he Qarasu…This river, the major one in East Azarbayjan, runs 180 degrees in a semi-circle around the Sabalan massif (ed. see map) flowing east, then north, then west, before heading into the Moghan to empty into the Aras…The Qarasu valley forms a logical path for caravans to use to transport goods from the Caucasian settlements to Tabriz,” 

Below is a caravansary he encountered and photographed, on fairly high ground, at a high point along this likely caravan route. It might have been about a half way point for caravans.

*

24

*

*

“The Sabalan is about 50 km long, in its entirety.

“The traders couldn’t simply follow the river around Sabalan – too long a trip – so they went over the escarpment, up a switchback, down the other side, toward Tabriz and eastern Turkey. So it seems to me, having looked at the actual geography. The escarpment is at the west end of Sabalan, east of Ahar on the map. The topo features make it fairly clear, as to location.

“The caravanseri is there because caravans bearing goods went past it. Food and drink, places to sleep. Animal feed. You don’t build caravanseris in the middle of nowhere for no reason.

“Having gotten around in East Azabayjan, I know about the caravansary stopovers on trade route from Moghan to Tabriz.

“Maybe how Dragon Rugs got to eastern Turkey.”

Villagers live best in this area at about 1500 meters above sea level.

Interrelation between nomadism and villagers in Azarbayjan is  clear: I have always been fascinated by nomad technology.

Settled nomads probably wove the rug (below, left) in a village like this one (below, right). 

Said to have been woven by settled Geyiklu, north of Ardabil, based on local sources. 

Pile weaving done by settled people, limited nomad population in Azarbayjan, many more villagers.  Skill set, time needed to weave pile, capital outlay and marketing not available to nomads. 

Did nomads influence color sense or the other way around?

*

25

*

*

Color sense very good in Azarbayjan.

Larger versions of the images in 25.

*

25 left

*

*

25 right

*

*

Compare the colors betwen a Kazak  (right, below) and a Heriz (below, left) from about the same period, ca 1920.

26

Heriz has 9 natural colors;  the Kazak has mostly synthetic dyes. 

There are settled nomad weavers, yes, but most of these Azarbayjani rugs were woven by long-term villagers.

*

*

Larger versions of rugs in 26.

*

26 left

*

*

26 right

*

*

Nomads relied on flat-weaves; villagers, too.

27

First, let’s us consider jajims, vital to nomads, I’ve long had a soft spot for them:  

Tapper picture below, left, 1965, jajim loom.

(Below, right) is a Baku Museum felt-backed jajim.  Jajims are woven with warp-faced structures.  Warp-faced structures are more restrictive than pile.  So pile designs that resemble those on complex jajims likely came from them.

*

(click on the images below to get a larger version)

*

*

Even larger versions of images in 27.

27 left

*

*

27 right

*

*

With regard to nomads, at one time, on both sides of the border, jajims were quite important.

The origin of the word is unclear. 

Jajims served many purposes.  They are quite artsy. 

Most of mine are Iranian-sourced.

28

There are two types of Azarbayjani jajims.

On the left, below is a “plain” structure. One the right, below is one with a warp substitution structure. 

Both of these pieces have saturated colors.  The relatively high cost of such saturated color implies the value of these weavings to their owners.

*

*

Warp-substitution may denote hierarchy.  Mike explained later what he means here.  “Higher ranked people may have sat on warp-substitution jajims. Most of the ones I see are squarish, which implies they were used to sit on. Did lower ranked people just sit on felts?  I don’t know.”

Larger versions of the pieces in 28.

*

28 left

*

*

28 right

*

*

29

*

(Below left) Old jajim in the village of Mehreban, nomad jajim seen as a result of light through a reed screen. 

Reed screen (below, right) keeps bugs and chickens out, allows airflow. In Arasburan.

*

*

Larger versions of images in 29.

29 left

*

*

29 right

*

*

30

Gilim: ca. 11’X5’ nomad gilim (below, left).  Same format drying on a kume, (below, right) so gelims were used as shown in a kume. 

A kume is a common Azarbayjani nomad dwelling, ca. 10’X18’, covered with felt, held up by an alder (wood) frame, the alders cut seasonally and good for probably a season. Cheaper to construct than an ahlechik, the dome-shaped yurt that is better known.  We’ll see at least one image of an ahlechik in a moment.

*

*

Large images of those in 30.

30 left

*

*

30 right

*

*

31

*

Another common AZ gilim style (below, left).  Would have been used in a “kume” yurt like the one on the right, below, with w/smoked felts as covering.

*

*

Larger versions of the images in 31.

31 left

*

*

31 right

*

*

*

32

Sumak bedding bags being readied to load on camels (below, left), 1965, Richard Tapper.

Sumak was largely used for bedding bags. Such bedding bags were termed “farmesh” in Turki, not the more common Farsi, “mafrash.”  But the bedding bags are the same thing, no matter what they are called. 

On the right, in 32 below, are my travel companions leaning against farmesh, turned inside out.

*

*

Larger versions of the images in 32.

*

32 left

(click on the image below to get a larger version)

*

*

32 right

*

*

*

33

Sumak rugs, as being woven here, are not a period weaving for these nomads. Door covers are usually felt, see ahlechik, left

*

*

Larger versions of images in 33.

33 left

*

*

33 right

*

*

34

Pack and tentbands were complex to weave and vital. Tentbands are used to stabilize oak tent struts in the round ahlechiks.

*

*

Larger versions of items in 34.

34 left

*

Azarbayjani nomad double cloth bands look pretty much the same on both sides. Besides, I think they photograph better with the ivory background showing. I don’t say in the RTAM narrative that the band illustrated is a pack or tend band. I think it was likely a pack band and was slightly shortened at the buckle end due to wear and tear, and a “make do” repair preserved it . From my experience inside ahlechiks, tent bands are narrower and almost always smoked. Good bands like this one seem to have been preserved as capital. Otherwise, there would be almost none in almost perfect shape. I got this band in a trade with Hamid Sadighi, a Lur who lives in Berlin, for an extra copy I had of McMullan’s Islamic Carpets.

*

*

34 right

*

*

35

Village for-domestic-use pile weaving: typical old village rug format on the left, from around Sarab, On the right, how they were used. The right hand rugs in situ in a house in Sarab are comptemporary and not substantially different from the old one, illustrating design and format stability. 

*

*

Larger version of pieces in 35.

35 left: date, detail and a larger full shot after

*

*

This old Sarab has 13 colors and has the kind of field that makes its date,1256/1840, believable

*

*

35 right

*

*

37

*

*

Left above is a typical old rug from Qarajeh, west of Sarab and layout of newer local rugs in a Qarajeh house 37 right. Layout is typical. The old rug could also date to ca. 1840, but no way to pinpoint date. 

Major export style is said to be from here.

Larger versions of images in 37.

37 left

*

*

37 right

*

*

38

 

*

Export weaving: It’s still being done – woman at loom. Villagers were friendly. Women seemed to do most of the work.

Larger versions of images in 38.

*

38 left

*

*

38 right

*

*

39

*

*

39 left is an old 4’8”X6’2” export rug. Took over the Kazak market. Old border sampler on a weaver’s bench, with tools

*

39 left

*

*

39 right

*

*

Mike finished with hybrid export rugs, using unusual designs. 

He said that The left hand rug, below, is probably from near Sarab, uses Kurdish village weaving motifs and coloration in an export format, illustrating a blend of more or less local and export values. 

The rug on the right, probably from a workshop near Tabriz, appears to be a very large sampler, but is more likely a one-off weaving for an unknown purpose.

40

*

Larger versions of rugs in 40.

40 left

*

*

40 right

*

*

Mike took questions, 

*

*

and there was a vigorous ending discussion that even verged onto market tendencies and practices.

*

*

*

Paul Kreiss, the owner of the Rug Bookshop in Baltimore,

*

*

had brought a supply of Mike’s book and the session moved to a sales and signing and conversation.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

If you missed Mike’s session, you can still buy his book by contacting Paul Kreiss, directly:

The Rug Book Shop
2603 Talbot Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21216-1621
(410) 367-8194
E-Mail: enquiries@rugbookshop.com
Web Site: http://www.rugbookshop.com

*

I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at Mike’s magnum opus and his description of how he went about putting it together.

Regards,

R. John Howe

 

 

 

 

 

Wendel Swan, Michael Seidman and Austin Doyle Lead a “Grand Potpourri” RTAM on Caucasian and Anatolian Textiles

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2019 by rjohn

On July 20, 2019, Wendel Swan

*

*

Michael Seidman

*

*

and Austin Doyle

*

*

led a ” grand potpourri” RTAM at the Textile Museum, here in Washington, DC, focused on Caucasian and Anatolian textiles.

They began with a short, Powerpoint-illustrated lecture, Wendel first.

(Click, sometimes more than once, on most images below to get a larger version)

*

*

Although  Turkey and the greater Caucasus Mountains are in fairly close geographic proximity and branches of Turkic are spoken widely in both and both produce rugs and textiles with bold geometric designs with vivid colors, there are significant differences in the products of all of Turkey, the Northern Caucasus and Greater Azerbaijan, which includes the Transcaucasus. 

(Please do click on the image below more than once)

*

*

Azeri is spoken in greater Azerbaijan, indicating a cultural connection between the Transcaucasus and Persia that resulted in much greater variety in their textiles, and closer to Persian traditions, than is found in the Northern Caucasus and all of Turkey.

*

*

A commonly held belief in much of the rug community has been that textile designs spread from the East to the West along with the Turkic language.

In fact, many geometric designs and motifs from the West and the Mediterranean were used in the Near East long before the Turks arrived.  The octagon and eight pointed star eventually became identified with Turkic weaving, with the early 19th Century Cannakale rug from Western Turkey on the left below being one example.

Note, however, that the with the medallion with eight squares around its center is almost exactly what was used in this Roman mosaic (from Jerusalem) at the upper right and that octagons and eight pointed stars were coincident in Roman mosaics (lower right).

*

*

The 2-1-2 or 2-1-2-1-2 infinite repeat pattern was in Egypt and in Western Anatolia long before the Turks.  In the first slide below the Bergama from Northwest Turkey and the Kagizman from Eastern Turkey share this pattern.  In the second slide below, the Karachopf Kazak on the right is the same format, but the colors and the border system are distinctively Caucasian.

*

*

*

*

The ubiquitous Memling gul design is similar, whether in Western Anatolia (above) or in Zakatala (below) in the Caucasus.

*

*

*

The  so-called prayer rugs of Turkey are most commonly variants of architectural design, which can clearly be seen in the rug on the left. 

The minbar (stairs) and columns are representations of what would actually be seen in a mosque.  Because of all the religious symbols in it, we could quite rightly refer to it as a prayer rug, although the niche eventually became just another commercial rug design in both Turkey and the Caucasus.

The niche in the rug on the right below is a geometric version of a full niche, even though simplified.

*

*

Rather than using a full niche, those of the Caucasus frequently employ a simpler form of the mihrab or niche shape, as you see on the left above. This was actually easier for the weaver to fit into the allotted length of the rug and keep the proportions correct.

The field of the rug on the left, from the Eastern Caucasus, resembles a Persian textile pattern.  It also uses some cotton, which is almost never found in Anatolia or the Northern Caucasus.

The rug on the right has a variation of the full niche, but the re-entrant notch at the bottom distinguishes it from the appearance of a niche within a wall.

*

*

The classic dragon rugs (above) are often called Caucasian, but with their cotton warps and sturdy construction, they are almost certainly Azerbaijani, most likely from around Tabriz.

*

*

Turkish horse covers are rare.  The Ottoman example on the left is very formal with silk and metal thread, while horse covers such as the Bordjalou on the right are common in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan.

*

*

Turkish rugs and textiles almost never depict animals or humans, but they are common in Azeri weavings.

*

*

The Turkish heybe (left, above) is worn over the shoulders with the head going through the slit in the bridge and there is no closure system for the pouches.  The Karabagh khorjin on the right (like other khorjin from Azerbaijan) has a closed bridge and

*

*

Cords that are sewn on to close the pouches.

*

*

We do not often see salt bags from Turkey, as we do in the Caucasus, this one being brocaded.

*

*

Brocading is commonly used for Karabagh and Azerbaijani mafrash, but we don’t see mafrash bedding bags from Turkey.

(Click on the image below for a larger version.)

*

*

Nor is sumak wrapping found in Turkey, except for what are called weftless sumak (on the left here) made by the Kurds in Eastern Turkey.  The sumak rug on the right was produced in a workshop in the Caucasus.

*

*

I will conclude by showing a large pile rug from Central Anatolia that was woven almost certainly no later than the 18th Century.  It’s a masterpiece of color.

Michael Seidman continued, emphasizing Anatolian material.

*

*

He started by providing this detail map of Turkey.

(Click to get a larger version)

*

*

Here are Michael’s Powerpoint images:

First was this niche piece.  He called attention to its border, which we’ll see again in a later item.  The border items look like houses.

Slide 22

*

*

The piece above was described as a “Sivrihisar Niche kilim.”  Woven in west central Anatolia, Eskisehir province. 120 X 90 cm.  Mid-19th century.

(Click on image below for a larger versiion.)

Slide 23

*

*

Michael’s comment on Slide 23:  This image is from Harold Bohmer’s book on Anatolian nomads. Described as from Karaman. 

It is is NOT a saf and is from the 19th century. White ground.

*

Slide 24

*

*

Michael’s comment: Slides 24 and 25 are from Aksaray, a town in Central Anatolia. These were in the Aksaray museum which we visited this past May.

I called attention to the border design, and the colors of the border (yellow ground etc.)  24 is probably older than 25.

Slide 25

*

*

Slide 26

*

*

Michael’s comment on Slide 26: This is from Orient Stars.  Late 18th early 19th. 

Note an Ottoman floral motif, very stylized.

Slide 27

*

*

Michael’s comments on Slide 27:  This is 19th century from the Aksaray Museum. 

Note the lamp motif in center of field and the architectural design of the arch and flanking elements.  

Mid 19th century.

Slide 28

*

*

Michael’s comment on Slide 28:  This is 17th century West Anatolia from Orient Stars.

Note the stylized crescent at top and the re-entrant motif at bottom.

Slide 29

*

*

Michael’s comment on Slide 29:  This is an example of a very common central Anatolian medallion pattern.  

Wendel showed a Roman mosaic precedent for the same motif, repeated immediately below.

*

*

Slide 30

*

*

Michael’s comment on Slide 30:  This is a divan cover from Sivas. 

This is the complete weaving, it is not missing a border. Divan covers were woven with borders on three sides.

18th century

Slide 31

*

*

Comment on Slide 31:  This is a 17/18th cent Transylvanian carpet showing stylizes serrated leaf/palmette motif in border, same as in the field of the Sivas divan (Slide 30).  

NOT a rams horn, although commonly described as such. 

Slide 32

*

*

Comment on Slide 32:  This is from Orient Stars.  A long rug from Karapinar.  18th century.

Probably workshop, in light of the careful execution and strong similarity to others of this type- a known pattern. 

Michael and Wendel now moved between these Powerpoint images and pieces that had been brought in (some of which were theirs).

CA3

*

*

Wendel first showed his fragment of a coarsely woven rug with long pile from Central Anatolia (the Konya/Karapinar area).  It has a color palette and structure typical of that region, but quite different from anything from the Caucasus, even though, to some, the geometric style may, initially, seem comparable to some Caucasian rugs.

In particular, the aubergine and yellow have an intensity and pairing not often seen in the Caucasus, while they are common in Central Anatolia. There is also a pink color (perhaps from a second bath of madder) that is seen in older Turkish rugs and in some very old Caucasian rugs. The border system is rather simple, but the dyeing and color juxtaposition are quite sophisticated.

The fragment is probably from the very early part of the 19th or late 18th Century and the rug would have contained four of the octagonal medallions, making it approximately 15 or 16 feet long.

Details of CA3.

*

*

*

*

*

CA4

*

Below is another Sivrihisar niche kilim,” with features like those in Slide 22 (see below).  Woven in west central Anatolia, Eskisehir province.

*

*

Slide 22

*

Comment on CA4:  This piece had similarities with those shown in Slide 22 immediately above, here. Houses-like border motif was mentioned.

Michael said that all of the pieces he had brought were 18th century and that 18th century pieces have a much different color sense and palette, characteristically, softer than later pieces.

Details of CA4.

*

*

*

*

CA5

*

(Click image below for larger version)

*

*

CA5 is similar to the piece shown in Slide 23 repeated Immediately below, here.

Karaman.  Note the niche devices on the right side of both of these kilims.

CA6 (Slide 23)

*

*

Details of CA5.

*

*

*

CA7

*

*

Comments on CA7:  Michael had another kilim with a multiple-niche design that was also not a saf.

Details of CA7.

*

*

*

CA8

*

*

Comments on CA8:  This was Michael’s Central Anatolian, Aksaray, niched-field, pile carpet. Most likely early 19th century. He said that it has typical colors also seen in the rug in Slide 24, repeated immediately here below.

*

*

Details of CA8:

*

*

Wendel noted that the lack of outlining with brown of the floral figures in the upper corners (see immediately below) is something that is found in Central Anatolia pile rugs although it has been a universal practice for more than two thousand years to prevent the perception (not actual) color bleeding by the eye.

It is called “kilim” style since elements in a kilim are not usually outlined.

*
*

*

*

CA9

*

*

CA9 is ca 1800.  It has a much better arch than the piece in the Aksaray museum.

The motif in the center of the carpet is a stylized reduction of the lamp shown more clearly in the version in the Aksaray musuem.  The weaver had two different border elements: sides different from the top.

It is a much better example than the one in the Aksaray museum.

Details of CA9.

*

*

*

*

*

CA10

*

*

Michael’s comment on CA10: Late 17th early 18th, Central Anatolia, possibly Cappadocia. re entrant element at bottom, double arch.

Woven as shown from bottom to top.

Details of CA10.

*

*

*

*

*

*

CA11

*

*

Michael’s comment on CA11:  Aksaray, 18th cent, excellent wool and color. poor, indecisive weaving.  We look for color, wool and weaving quality. CA11 has excellent wool and color but poor weaving.

The medallion in this rug strongly relates to the Roman mosaic motif shown by Wendel and repeated here below.

*

*

Details of CA11

*

*

*

*

*

CA12

*

*

Michael said that CA12 is an Aksaray, 18th century, divan cover comparable to an Istanbul example in Slide 30, repeated immediately below.  He said that the designs are the same, and that the elements described as “rams’ horns” are actually depictions of palmettes with serrated leaves.  An example of this is shown in Slide 31.

*

*

Details of CA12.

*

*

*

*

*

CA13

*

*

Michael’s comment on CA13: 18th century, Karapinar, long rug, similar to the example in Orient Stars shown in Slide 32, repeated immediately below here.

Slide 32

*

*

Comment on Slide 32:  This is from Orient Stars.  A long rug from Karapinar. 

Probably workshop, in light of the careful execution and strong similarity to others of this type- a known pattern. 

18th century.

Details of CA13.

*

*

*

*

Next, Austin Doyle

*

*

treated some Caucasian rugs he had brought.

CA14

*

*

Austin said that CA14 is a Karachov/Kazak carpet with niches at both ends and three stars in its field.  It has a “long rug” size.  Austin noted that it has corrosion in brown areas.

Details of CA14.

*

*

*

*

*

CA15

*

*

Austin said the CA15 is a Zakatla rug (identified with S-spun and Z-plied wool, a mode not used in any other Caucasian varieties).  He said that it has a typical Moghan design, featuring large Memling guls.  It’s dyes are very saturated but its colors are rather cool.

Details of CA15.

*

*

*

*

*

CA16

*

*

Austin said that CA16 is likely a Fachralo rug with a niche at the top of a floating field element which also has a “re-entrant” treatment at its bottom.  It has a scarab main border design.  It is finely woven, with two cotton shoots of weft between each row of knots.  It may have been woven elsewhere than in the Kazak area.

*

Details of CA16.

*

*

*

*

*

CA17

*

*

CA17 is a Talish long rug with a “star and lattice” field and a typical Talish border with rosettes alternating with four star-like elements in brown.  It has a long, narrow shape and exhibits pale blue wefts extending from the selveges into the knotted area of the rug (this latter feature is said by some to be the “sine qua non” of a Talish attribution).  There are some beige knotted areas that may be camel hair.

Details of CA17.

*

*

*

*

*

*

A lot of material had brought in and Wendel, Michael and Austin moved next to treat it.

CA18

*

*

CA18 is a mafrash side panel, described as probably Karabagh.  Mid-19th century with good color.  Mostly slit tapestry.

Details of CA18.

*

*

*

CA19

*

*

CA18 is a complete cargo-type mafrash.  This slit tapestry weave from the Shirvan area has the same design around all the sides with a simple striped, plain weave bottom.

CA20

*

*

CA 20 is a Shirvan rug with a latticed white-ground field and niche feature.  It is dated.

It has an “old back,” low pile and white cotton selvege.

Its inner border has a swastika design and the outer border is a Kufic variety.

Details of CA20

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

CA21

*

*

CA21 was described as an Ordutch Khonaghend rug (north of the Baku-Shirvan area in the eastern Caucasus).

It features eight white-ground octagons separated by red-ground, yellow-bordered, “tongues” that move in from the sides but do not quite form compartments.  This was described as a “geometric ‘keyhole’ meander.”  There are four birds in each octagon, sometimes upright in this view and sometimes opposed.

The main white-ground border is sometimes called a “wine glass and calyx leaf” type, despite it being part of an entirely geometric design.

Details of CA21.

*

*

*

*

CA22

Wendel brought in a rare pile khorjin face below that he acquired long before the breakup of the Soviet Union (when many smaller utilitarian textiles came into the market).  Both the field and the border are often seen in Shahsavan flat weaves, but the weave, including the cotton selvedges, is classically Shirvan.

*

This bag face raises the questions as to how we can tell whether any particular textile has an urban or a nomadic.  This little bag face suggests that perhaps we cannot always do so.

Details of CA22.

*

*

*

Early on, in the examination of pieces brought in, were the following two rugs.

*

CA1

(note numbers are not always sequential)

*

*

Comment on CA1: 

Kris Atchley brought in a Turkish Mudjur prayer rug from the second half of the 19th Century, with a typical wide range of wonderful colors and a plain red mihrab. He said that, unfortunately, he did not realize when he bought it that the outer border had been completely removed, reducing its value considerably. With so much missing it could be considered a fragment, but the colors are still glorious.

Wendel pointed out that this rug, as with most Turkish prayer rugs, was woven “upside down”, that is, it was begun at what we see as the top in this image.  The reason for doing so it that it is most important to have the top of the niche appropriately placed and at the right angle within the field.  If the weaver would begin at the base of the niche, it might be that she would run out of space as the rug was nearing completion and have to flatten the arch in an artistically unsatisfactory manner. 

Details of CA1.

*

*

*

*

The next two rugs were brought by Kris Atchley.

CA38

*

*

CA38 is a Melas from Southwestern Turkey, from the second half of the 19th Century. 

This one, as is true of virtually all Melas rugs, has all natural dyes. 

While many are made in prayer rug format, this one is comprised almost entirely of meander border patterns.  The two large borders are the same pattern, just done in different colors. 

The small, narrow field contains carnations that are usually seen in borders, but the field itself is not a border pattern.

Details of CA38.

*

*

*

*

*

CA39

*

*

CA39 is a prayer rug from Northwest Turkey, probably from near Bergama.

At the top of the mihrab is what is known at a lam alif motif, which uses the word Allah symmetrically.  This, then, is a form of calligraphy, not architecture. 

What seems to be a meander or leaf border is actually half of a medallion that circumscribes the field.

Although the colors of Bergama and Melas rug are similar, the designs in each are distinctive and not very similar to anything woven in the Caucasus.

Details of CA39.

*

*

*

*

*

CA2

*

*

Comment on CA2:  Wendel Swan brought in this Kirshehir (Central Anatolia, near Mudjur) prayer rug which he acquired “decades ago” but would not do so today. Like the Mudjurs, they have a distinctive appearance that is quite unlike anything from the Caucasus. 

This one was probably made around 1875 and has both cochineal and madder reds in combination with other colors typical of Central Anatolia. Multiple borders had come into fashion at that time, resulting in a comparatively small mihrab.

Details of CA2.

*

(my camera)

*