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Monday, 16 October 2017

Rugs of the Golden Triangle








James Burns Collection









The swathe of land running from Sivas to Azerbaijan forms the subject of this entry.

Turkomans,Armenians,Azeris and Kurds comprise the largest ethnic groups.The rugs can be divided into the following categories:Golden Triangle(GT)-Turkish Zone(TZ)-Caucasian Zone(CZ) and Persian Zone(PZ).The hybrid GT items cannot be attributed to any particular area with certainty.The carpets have been classified by design,although many fragments are so damaged that a correct reconstruction is no longer possible.

001)Amongst the oldest of this group is the “Faces” carpet,whose stubborn iconography has to this day resisted encryption(TZ)


001




002)A small group of Animal carpets,possibly of great age,are said to have been sourced in Tibet,although they may have been removed from other places of worship.They are dealt with HERE: Animal carpets


002-MET




003)A fragment published by Eskenazi and now in the Hecksher Collection seems to incorporate the style of the Faces carpet with its tall towers,and the early animal style.





003




004)An important group of Animal and Tree carpets have been clubbed together by Ian Bennett(Hali 73-91)He aptly described them as “An Amorphous Group”and ordered them into seven sub-groups,which however contain only a maximum of three pieces.They were clearly made over a wide area and at differing times,in styles ranging from the elegant to the rustic.Their inspiration has been drawn from Persian animal-combat carpets,such as the Berlin Sanguszko,shown here in Pope`s 1939 reproduction,and in its current parlous state.




004




005)A good starting point are the carpets once in the Quill-Jones Collection,and with Haim in Istanbul.A fragment from the Bernheimer Sale(118)is probably also part of this group.





005




006)Another group of three carpets,less skillfully drawn,were with McMullan,Tabibnia(late of Wher Collection,published by Martin as belonging to Durlaeher Bros.in London)and a carpet which appeared at the same time as Bennett`s article(thus too late to be included)at Sothebys in 1994.


006




007)Three carpets featuring cypress trees.The Hackwood Park rug,once with Jekyll, was later with Aaron Nejad,but the Woworski carpet has gone missing.They were influenced by an animal carpet of a type now divided between the Ashmolean and the Montreal Museum of Art.(007a)


007




007a





008)Stylistically close but geographically miles apart are the Schurmann and Keir Collection items,plus a carpet sold at Christies in 2015.The Schurmann and Christies examples both feature free-falling animal depictions,whereas the silk Keir Collection carpet has a more static arrangement featuring camels and a likely interpretation of the Layla and Majnun theme(or a marriage scene with Kedjebe litter)


008




009)A solitary survivor is the Kirchheim carpet,late of Bausback with rows of howling leopards.


009




010,011)Quite devoid of animals except for two addorsed peacocks is a carpet de-accessioned by the Baltimore Museum of Art.A similar example can be found at Sissinghurst Castle.A third rug combines the peacocks with animal combat and pursuit scenes,more reminiscent of Berlin´s Sanguszko.


010



011





012)A true representative of the Golden Triangle style is a fragment in Berlin,which Heinrich Jacoby once curiously described as “An Armenian Bastard Rug”It is related through its similar pendant(which however seems not to have crowned a central medallion) to a carpet now in the Hermitage(013)


012



013





014)Not included by Bennett is  a CZ fragmented carpet found at Erzerum,and listed by Yetkin(100)It employs a border perhaps derived from the Silk Keshan kilims,with cartouches and medallions filled with animals and falconers.


014





015)A fragment advertised by Gallery Arabesque in Hali 140(60)is reminiscent of 014




015





016,017)Connecting well with the Eskenazi fragment(003) is a real GT piece with two headed animals similar to the famous Berlin carpet.


016



017





018)A fragment published by Ulrike Montigel in Hali 93(136)has all the characteristics of a classic GT piece,replete with fizzy palmettes and medallions in the usual Animal-Arabesque style.






018





019,020)Ian Bennett connected a group of three Tree carpets to the previous animal group,and a fourth appeared at Christies in 2011.


019



020





021)Another cluster seems based upon a mix of the Trinitarias and Bardini Medallion carpets.





021








022)A carpet at Christies was Persian knotted,with the Trinitarias medallion border.






022






023)Another example was in the Art trade in the early 00`s. Trinitarias border.





023





024)A fragment at Christies was later with Ben Banayan.



024





025)A carpet of considerable age with curled-outline medallion and Avshan field.


025





026)A small but remarkable group of medallion rugs is exemplified by a carpet from the Keir collection.






026





027)All examples use a strapwork border:a rug with Eskenazi has a typical geometric arabesque field. Its description in Hali ushers in the term “Golden Triangle” (027a)


027



027a





028)A very elegant carpet in Hamburg`s Kunst & Gewerbemuseum,formerly Ulrich Schurmann.





028





029)The patched remnants of another rug once at Helbing,Munich in 1910,from the Von B├╝rkel Collection.


029





030)The acme of Golden Triangle style was reached in the V&A`s fragmented medallion carpet with palmette and sickle-leaf field.





030




031)An elegant, racey mood was achieved in the McMullan example.The origin of this angular strapwork border would seem to be Khorasan,as exemplified by an example in the MAK(031a)






031



031a







032)Palmettes in the field seem like floral Lesghi stars.From the people who brought you 030. Rupert Smith.



032







033)A puzzling large scale Safavid reprise was in the Ballard Collection,now MET,with its strange corner solutions(found on some Indian carpets and also as an architectural device)Long held to be an original,it is in fact Turkish knotted.Further discussion :Ballard






033





034)At Christies in 2009.Sold for $206,500.




034





035)Two fragments from a carpet now with James Connell.


035





036)Another fragment with a cogwheel border,once at Netherhamptons.


036





037)A carpet offered at Christies in 2004,which later surfaced with its missing border rewoven.




037







038-041a)Five carpets from the Turkish Zone,syncretic enough to fit the GT schema.Two with  strapwork border,two with Tabriz medallion interpretation(038-041a)and one last item with cartouche medallion border.


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039



040



041




041a







042)An ancient fragment once at Sothebys in 1992 with animalised arabesque border and allover medallion design.





042





043)The Parsons-Todd Medallion Carpet  with four and one design featuring Khatam stars in the field borrowed from Chessboard carpets,and a Turkish-style meander border possibly adopted from a Lotto carpet as seen in (043a)Such meanders may have developed from the old Safavid type(044)in the Keir Collection in which a field design has been grafted onto a meander-vine.





043



043a



044





045)Large Kelleh carpets from the Caucasian Zone are not uncommon,but the border and angular drawing place it within the GT orbit.





045





046)From the L.A Mayer Collection,at Christies in 2004.




046





047)A prayer carpet dominated by a gigantic medallion was sold twice at Sothebys in 2002 and 2008.Its spandrels are filled by  a design found on some Ersari Turkmen rugs.





047





048)Two rare carpets seem to be the forerunners of the Lori-Pambak medallion group.One found at the Aya Sophia in Istanbul and the other illustrated by Vincent Robinson as a “Mongolian” carpet.





048





049)With a similar layout to the Parsons Todd this carpet,described by some as “Kurdish”first appeared in a withered state in 2005 and was later resold at the same venue in 2010;again re-appearing in 2017.



049





050)A remarkable item now in the Jim Dixon Collection; sold at Skinners in 1994(see Hali 78-130)





050





051)Reminiscent of so many weaving areas,a fragment published in Hali 129 was later seen in various collections.




051








052,053)Three fragmented examples with typical white-outline medallions form a coherent group.The Keir fragment is closest to the Safavid original.The Orient Stars item was sold at Nagels in 1990 and subsequently “de-restored”,whereas the Budapest piece(053) bears an Ushak-type border  derived from Ottoman kilims.




052



053





054)Distantly related is the Bernheimer carpet in which a central Tabriz-style medallion overflows into the borders.





054





055)Both carpets appear to be from Ushak,and perhaps the Simon is;but the Hecksher fragment is Persian knotted.




055





056)Seen in the Cairo Museum of Islamic Art by George O`Bannon,this LPH Holbein is perhaps not quite what it seems with its strange interspersed palmettes and Animal Carpet-style nodes flanking the main border,itself a curiosity.





056





057) Two Turkish Zone carpets which are difficult to place:the Sothebys 1986 object is  a supplemented fragment,and of the Andre-Jacquemart there exist no decent photos,yet the two are related through an allover Rinceau field.





057





058) A cogwheel medallion carpet from the Burns Collection,assigned to the CZ in the Pacific Collections catalogue(Nr.220)




058





059)Offered at Nagels in 2007.




059





060)Two fragments clearly belonging together,a classic GT production in every way.The minor guards recall those of 059.




060





061)Said to have been with Simon Crosby.An indecipherable fragment with mock-classical cartouche border.


061





062)Refashioned into a saddle cover by some Tibetan nomads(?)this is presumably based on a Caucasian silk embroidery,with a simplified Trintarias border.




062





063)Another tantalising fragment which wets our appetite for more, in a typically bizarre congruence of styles.Perhaps one day more pieces of the puzzle will surface,till then it remains in abeyance.





063





064)Sold by Lefevre in 1977,this elicited a confused response from the author in his Caucasian Carpet volume.




064





065)This weaving on a grand scale was published in Hali 38 by Konzett and described as a “Tabriz”




065





066)A strange mixture of epic scale and childlike whimsy.Observe the human figures with camels and Kedjebe litter-Leyla and Majnun.067 is presumably another fragment from this carpet.




066




067







068)A disjointed  Harshang version with the Golden Triangle strapwork border.




068








069)Three more schematic interpretations of the above.The first was once with Wilhelm von Bode,and was later acquired by Erdmann for the Berlin Museum.J.P Willborg`s more abrupt rendition is from the Victorin Collection.A third fragment is in the Munich Museum of Five Continents.






069





070-071)With this we enter a different, more controlled arena of production.The”stiff-palmette”type Harshang typified by this Heinrich Jacoby carpet were covered HERE: Palmettes-318-320





070



071




072)This yellow ground magnificence from the McMullan collection was said to have been donated to the MET,but has since disappeared.The older Khorasan form,once with the Orient Stars Collection,is now in Berlin(072a).If it were not attributed to N.E Persia,one would have to say "Golden Triangle"




072




072a







073)Two carpets displaying an influence from Khorasan.Thje small rug was sold at Christies in 1988 with a   confusing catalogue entry,as Northeast Persian,due to its Persian knotting-open right(although lacking jufti).There appear to be more Persian knotted open-right productions from North-West Persia,such as described HERE : NW Persia.The MAK`s hieratic example also appears to have forebears in Khorasan,such as the group of Sickle-Leaf designs,upon which light was also shed in the foregoing entry.





073





074)Another “Armenian Bastard”,illustrated by Bruno Eberl(plate 117)







074







075)A patchwork from the Dixon Collection with Turko-Iranian border design and a suggestion of Garden Carpet along the lateral.





075





076)From Rupert Smith;daring and clearly very old proto-Kazak.





076





077)An allover palmette design rug once with James Cohen and later at Christies in 2016.





077





078,079)One group of pseudo-Harshang designs is best exemplified by a carpet once with Bausback,and a second published in the ICOC “Sovrani” catalogue.079 was published in various quarters and is shown here in an attempted reconstruction.Dealt with more fully : Lineage V-415-419



078



079





080)Offered at Skinners in 2016.






080










081)A grand patchwork from Herrmann`s tenth book with typical GT border.





081





082)An unearthly fragment once with Eskenazi,published in “Sovrani”(Nr.79)





082





083)Published first by Neugebauer,appeared at the Bernheimer Sale in 1996(Lot 3,unsold)Possibly even Heriz area,turkish knotted.



083





084)3/4ths of a palmette carpet with unusual border in “Tibetan” condition.Cotton warp,red wefting.





084






085)Fragment of a once splendid carpet with miniature Trintarias border.




085






086)Clearly the same archaic forms as 085.Shown at the Milan Rug Fair,published in Ghereh 28(57)





086





087)Two fragments which once parted company but are now reunited.A similar border can be seen in 41a.See Hali 115,and Dixon Collection.




087






088)Published by Bertram Frauenknect,the filligraine outlining and overall layout recall soumac work of a later period.




088






089)A Cloudband-Palmette design derived from Isfahan Red Ground Floral carpets.Miniature Trinitarias border.James Connell Collection.




089





090,90a)Two fragments from possibly the same carpet in epic-whimsical style(see 066)






090






090a






091)Cloudband and Palmette carpet from the Orient Stars Collection.The Large Medallion design crossed with Harshang.






091






092)Nowhere near as rivetting is the Bernheimer fragment,shown here in a photo from Serare Yetkin,before repair.It may well have been a Large Medallion carpet.





092






093)Two more simplified examples were published by Jacoby and Yetkin,the later found at Edirne.






093






094,095)Paving the way to the Chondzoresk carpets are two examples with cloudband medallions.094 is said to be kept in Ankara;the splendid 095 was at Sothebys in 2004.





094





095





096)At Sothebys in 2015; the medallion filled with animals.



096






097)A fascinating carpet from the Sadberk Hanim Museum in Istanbul.Published Hali 78(178)





097






098)A mechanical,repetitious carpet published by C.G Ellis in his monograph on Early Caucasian Rugs




098






098a)Perhaps Divrik should be taken as the western outpost of the Golden Triangle,the happy hunting grounds of the Mengujukids,where so many important carpets were found.This rare apparition is Persian knotted and has also been attributed to Damascus,but there seems no reason to doubt its inherently Turkish nature.





098a






099)At the Jon Thompson Sale,and later with Herrmann,this Sickle-Leaf carpet has been attributed to both India and Kurdistan.Turkish knotted.






099





100)The Kelaty Trans-Caucasian is another mysterium.At Christies in 2013,unsold against an estimate of $190-270,000.




100






101)One of two NW Persian sickle leaf carpets with such a Fleurs-de-Lys border,which have been discussed HERE: A Caucasian Carpet? Persian knotted to the right.This fragment previously with Ross Winter and Michael Craycraft.






101






102)Some border fragments with GT cartouche design from the Jon Thompson sale.Later with Ben Banayan.





102






103)On a deep dark  brown ground,this fragment was on offer at Christies in 2003.Sold for $9180.See Hali 130(125)





103






104)Interesting Eastern Turkish fragments on sale at Rippon Boswell`s in 2000.Sold for 18,000 Deutschmark.





104






105)Phographed at the TIEM by Daniel Shaffer.Typical GT border.






105






106)A curious mixture of refined border and clumsy field drawing.Shown at the Istanbul ICOC.




106






107)An internet photo from Gallery Karma,with typical GT border.






107






108 & 108a)Another example of the epic-whimsical style,published by James Burns as “Azerbaijan”,and dated to 1482-1530(95%)What seems to be a fragment from the same carpet was on offer with both James Cohen and Bertram Frauenknecht.





108





108a






109)With Frauenknecht on Rugrabbit.






109






110)Ditto;and one fragment  from Ali Aydin with “Eagle`s Beak” border.



110






111)Still searching for a home is this fragment from the V&A (T12-1969)




111






112)A lone survivor in the MET (1978.546.54-Abermayor Collection)-perhaps the origin of the “Eagle`s Beak” border.





112





113)A remarkable prayer rug features Caucasian and Turkish elements.Often described as Armenian.With Rasa,Ronnie Newman,and at Sothebys in 2009.




113



114)The Kirakos prayer rug was published by Riegl in 1895.It has been dated to 1202 A.D,although is presumably an 18th century production,and has been variously attributed to Turkey and the Caucasus.A second example(115) appeared at Christies in 1993.A third member of the group was published by Achdjian in 1949,and a  further fragment was advertised by James Blackmon in Hali 56.







114,115




116




117