Tuesday 22 January 2013

Two Types of Mafrash

An unusual Turkmen trapping recently appeared on rugrabbit.

1-Mete Mutlu

Writing in Hali 167,page 160,the APG editor had the following to say concerning a similar mafrash sold at Nagels,Stuttgart on 7 September 2010:

“This well-known pattern is a puzzle,one that no one yet has bothered to discuss”


The design seems to derive or at least stylistically mirror that of certain Tentbands.The central panels are bisected by slender columns crowned with rams-horns.Between the columns a quincunx formed of double boxes and rectangles fill out the field.The 5-sided Dice form is not immediately apparent and on closer inspection the entire design seems to swim before one`s eyes.White diagonal or triangular lines connect the white rectangles.Some of the pieces have lost the rams-horns.The borders are invariably a simple zig-zag,or an equally simple chamtos motif.

They have been described as Yomut,Igdyr,Chodor,and Eagle- Göl.They appear all to  be woven in mafrash or kap size,although some may be torbas.According to Peter Andrews the Persian word Mafrash is not in use by the nomads of Turkmenistan,but was first employed by Dudin and later,Moshkova.

The majority have been categorized as Yomut,but in his first catalogue the late Hans Elmby published two examples which he described as Tekke and Yomut

3-Elmby 1-5-Tekke

4-Elmby 1-5a-Yomut

The tech analysis for the two is similar,but the Tekke example is nearly twice as finely knotted,and omits the typical rams-horns(as does an obviously Yomut item sold at Sothebys in 2002)

5-Sothebys  27 February 2002-Lot 25

Most of the pieces in this group,with the exception of an “Igdyr”item from the Amstey Collection,appear to be Persian-knotted open right.The consensus is that they are Persian-Knotted Yomut work.The Nagel catalogue entry of 2012 opines “Eagle-Group”which was accepted uncritically by Hali,and which tastes of sales hype.There are no known Eagle Göl pieces with this design,and indeed the Rautenstengel/Azadi book focusses on Main Carpets-discussion of trappings is limited to well-defined areas in which the “box-and-triangle”design does not occur.It may be that some authors were thrown by the combination of Persian Knot-right and fine weave,which on paper sounds like Tekke.However,the possibility of a Tekke origin for some of these pieces cannot be ruled out.

6-David Sorgato

7- Șeref Özen

As Hans Elmby once said:”Yomut,you know,it does not exist !

More examples click HERE

Another group often associated with the foregoing (”Small is Beautiful”Hali 4/1)is a Tekke Group with the “Aiyly”design,once conjectured by Jon Thompson to have been the original Tekke version of the Salor Turreted Göl

8-Thompson Sale Sothebys 16 December 1993-Lot 6

According to Tsareva(after Moshkova),the word “Aiyly”means”all in a row”-presumably a weaver`s nickname.Moshkowa credited the Igdyr of the Amu-Darya(in the so-called Porsy Settlement)with its household use.

Like the “box-and-triangles”Group,the designs seem to derive from tentbands,although the originals have long since vanished.The most common type features white panels upon which arrowed striations project from a central spine.On many examples,such as the Thompson fragment,the space-between is filled with small coloured whirligig rhomboids,or chamtos,phasing over into a second group,in which these panels become more dominant


The Hoffmeister carpet was originally labelled Yomut on its first publication(Hali 28,page 91,Adraskand)but Tekke(with question-mark)in the Hoffmeister/Tsareva Catalogue.

An example sold at Sothebys was said to contain silk and cotton

10-Sothebys October 1985-lot 743(Islamic Sales)

The last known outliers are two items once offered by Adil Besim  

11-Adil Besim-Hali 5-3-33

and E.Herrmann

12-Herrmann ATT 4-95c

These types of small trapping have frequently been misattributed,but it seems they were both produced at various times and places by the Tekke and Yomut.Especially the white panel Tekke Group seems imbued with symbolism,although its exact meaning is unclear.But then again,”a carpet will never completely divulge its secret”(E.Herrmann)

13-Ronnie Newman-Hali 83-11

14-Hoffmeister Collection-71

More Fotos click HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.