Tuesday 31 July 2012

A Balkan Tale

An excellent exhibition of fotos portraying Ottoman life and architecture in the Balkans,available here:-


See especially the video section.

Sunday 29 July 2012

divan rugs

The auction report(Hali 172-113) for a Turkish rug sold at Christies on 24.42012 makes interesting reading.

The piece was first sold at Brunk`s on 12.9.2012.

1-Brunks 2009

It appeared then at Christie`s in a spruced-up version.

2-Christies 2012

Described by Brunk`s as"reduced in the center throughout the length of the rug"this is in all probability a divan carpet made in two halves.A similar item,once in the author`s possession,demonstrates this,having had an original finish on the right-hand side.

3-Private collection
The Enjilas border is typical for this group.

4-Private Collection

5-Christie`s April 1989-1

6-Skinner`s 1990-later Rippon Boswell 1991

Two examples from the Kelez area,again as prayer rugs:

7-Weber Auction 1990


Sometimes the Enjilas border was simplified,removing the meander element:-


10-Lars Bonnevier-Rugrabbit

Why so many prayer rugs were made in two halves is a mystery.Perhaps larger looms were not available,or the weavers more often wove  kilims.Here a well-known "piece"from Franz Sailer after a simple montage:



More fotos

The Brunks/Christies example is at the end of a long continuum.Many of the "Transylvanian "carpets were probably woven in the Menderes valley area.Two types of Column rugs spring to mind,one with thick columns:-

13-Nagels,Auction 23-1101
More fotos

The other,more common,with Lotus Volute columns:-

14-Bausback 1978-71

More fotos

The group stands directly before(or side-by-side)the classical Konya prayer rugs with columns-which May Beattie infelicitously described as "coupled-columns"

15-Hali 36-104,Kinnebanian

One member of the Thin Column group seems to be losing its Spandrels:-

16-Sotheby`s 7.10.09-271

Thus paving the way for the absolute Siebenb├╝rger reduction act,prayer rugs without mihrabs or spandrels:-

17-Batari-Vegh Layer
More fotos

Saturday 28 July 2012

mystery rug

Myers Collection
Published in 1930 by Koechlin and Migeon(Oriental Art,plate LXXXII)this small silk fragment with animal design was described as"the oldest specimen of carpet known with the exception of the small piece with Cufic inscriptions from the excavations at Fostat"Collection G.H Myers,Washington.Size 27.5 x 13.75 ins(70 x 35 cms)
The carpet is now in the Cleveland Museum of Art,described as from "Rayy,Persia"

Gift of Milton Girod-Nr.1988.243

Postscript 4 April 2023:

The carpet was returned by Myers to the seller Paul Mallon,after the admonitions of Maurice Dimand,who considered it a fake.Mallon`s stepson Milton Girod-Mallon donated it to the Cleveland Museum of Art,where it still slumbers,considered for a long time to be a 15th century Persian rug.

After careful dye analysis in 2018 the rug was proven to be a later example containing dyes which were first invented in the late 19th century.

Photos of the rug`s back on the Cleveland website reveal it to possess a structure not unlike Tibetan carpets,positing an origin somewhere in Central-Asia (Uzbek Julkhyr carpets also employ such a technique)It probably has a Persian knot.

If it is a fake the question is:of what?