Wednesday 3 September 2014

Yomut,tribe without a göl

The carpets of the Yomut  constitute a large group amongst the carpets of West Turkestan,comparable in their diversity to the weavings of the Ersari.They resist the type of easy classification applicable to the Salor,Saryk,or even the more experimental Tekke.Yet a general unity of execution is evident.The following entry reviews their 9 göl chovals,with an addendum concerning main carpets featuring the choval göl.
To create some order amongst the more than 400 or so 9 -göl chovals in the rug-tracker database,the pieces were first divided by göl-type,then by elem design,then by border,and finally,if possible,by secondary ornament.A few rare and distinctive examples have been assembled into groups.The remainder from the Mikado heap will be considered separately.There are two types of göl used on these chovals.The first(type A) was christened “Sari” göl by Moshkova,perhaps due to its likeness to the Saryk choval göl;the second(type B) appears under various names,most commonly Sakar göl(Turkmen labels differ from author to author and are  often unreliable)The team of Pinner/Franses apparently named this the "banner gül" at some point.A further description for the two types was developed by the author during this investigation:the “Round”göl,for Type A;and the “Triangular” göl for type B.The Triangular göl is more frequently used in mafrashes and other small weavings,and that was perhaps its  provenience. The Arabatchi used almost exclusively the Triangular göl on their small trappings.It is the predominant göl used on Yomut torbas and mafrash,presumably because the Round göl is more difficult to apply in a smaller space.It is used to give the chovals a larger,airier look.A clear reason for the use of either Type A or type B has yet to be advanced.Statistically the two göl types in the 9er group divide evenly.There seems to be no proprietary collaboration between göl type and borders,secondaries or elems.

1-Sari choval göl-Moshkova XL-5

2-Rejeb choval göl-Moshkova XL-2

3-Sakar or Sarik göl,Moshkova XL-1

The Yomut 9er choval is the result of an artistic arrangement with varying combinations of the aforementioned elements.A tribal affiliation can thus be ruled out,or,if it ever existed,can no longer be ascertained.

Of the few clearly definable groups,one stands out due to it`s excellence of draughtmanship : a cluster of five pieces featuring a minor whiteground border and a major border with blue stars in a red lattice.C-forms occur in the interstices,and in the interior of the göls.Of five known examples,three have the rounded göl,two the triangular.Three are 9 göl,one is 16,and a fragment in the NERS is cut but was probably a 9 göl.They seem to be symmetrically knotted.The first example appeared at Rippon Boswell`s in 1986,when it sold for 14,000 DM(RB 2 Mai 1986,Lot 64)It was then exhibited at the ICOC Hamburg exhibition(Wie Blümen in der Wuste,Plate 53)described as Igdir.It later re-surfaced at Rippon Boswell`s on 24 May 1997,where it again sold for 14000 DM(Lot 69)

4-RB-Blumen in der Wuste

Two small chovals in the Sienknecht Collection feature a triangular and a round göl,the second with the typical cross secondary

5-Sienknecht 1997,Plate 63

6-Sienknecht 1997,Plate 64

All members of the group have a plain elem.A 16 göl version was at Sothebys in 2003,and was in the possession of Ronnie Newman

7-Sothebys  19 September 2003(53)

A last fragmented example was exhibited by the New England Rug Society


Another group notable for its cartouche border comprises 4 published items.The first appeared in Werner Loges,Turkmenische Teppiche,plate 58

9-Rothblatt Collection 

The most distinguished member of this group appeared at the ICOC exhibition in Hamburg,1993,and was subsequently auctioned at Rippon Boswell`s  on 20 May 2006 for 13,200 euro.It employs a refined secondary ornament,which later appears in a simplified form without hooks

10-Rippon Boswell 2006

The border also appears on a main carpet published by Herrmann

11-SOT 3-95

A bold example was published by Peter Hoffmeister,with trefoil minor borders

12-Hoffmeister,Turkmen Carpets(102)

A further item surfaced at Rippon Boswell in 2012,and was sold for a modest 2562 euro.It would seem to be the youngest of the group,which have been tagged"Abdal" by some,and are all symmetrically knotted

13-Rippon Boswell 24 November 2012(190)

A further group displays floral shields in the göl`s center.Two pieces are so alike that they may have constituted a pair.The border is a rare form of the "box-flower" design

14-Atlantic Collections 255;Ronnie Newman

Another two examples feature the "bat" border,and a more ornate version of the "box-star" or Tsharsh Palak Secondary

15-Private Collection;Michael Craycraft

A last example in this group has a decorated skirt in the Chodor style

16-John Patterson


There at least six main borders used on Yomut chovals,and many variations.
Very common is the "tenbek" or "ashik",or even "dogashik" border,a quadrate cross.A common type appears with hooks


The bat (or bird) border is actually more common than supposed,and appears in at least two versions.The second also occurs on Arabatchi weavings


One of the most beautiful borders is the "box-flower"design,apparently unnamed in the Turkmen literature.The last type is the rarest.



The "Syrga" border,also an Asmalyk device,is quite common,usually in the standard"trident" form,or in the "sufi" version(first picture)


Quite rare,but always splendid,is the kochak design found on Salor chovals


A refined and uncommon border resembles addorsed heraldic beasts


Occasionally used,but more frequent on torbas,is the Atanak border


And a common device,either single or joined,is the "Chaikelbagi"



The majority of Yomut chovals have a plain skirt(virtually all pieces with the bat border,for instance)but some very interesting designs do occur.Many of these also appear on main carpets.The most common of all is the "trident",or   Turkmen Arabesque design, featuring a kind of animal-tree with hooked branches, serrated leaves,or the original forked leaf rinceau.Here a selection


27-David Reuben I-74

The last was considered by David Reuben to be an early form.

Ensis were also a culling ground for such designs.One carpet from Peter Bausback felicitously combines two such variants

28-Bausback 2010-100

And a piece at Rippon Boswells sale of 13 November 1993(148-sold for 20,880 DM)whilst very much in this style,actually occurs on main carpets and also on a rare group of whiteground asmalyks

29-RB 1993

30-Bausback 1983

Some exceptional items have been woven employing  the Turkmen "arabesque" elem design,sometimes also referred to as the "chatishima"(Moshkova XXVI-8)

31-Above:Kyle Hedrick;Reyn Staffel;Below:Jourdan 157;D.Reuben 1-76

With Triangular göl:

32-Above:Mark Santos;Ben Banayan;Below:Grogans;Sienknecht Collection

The Turkmen arabesque elem is frequently found on Yomut main carpets.

An unusual elem is found on a few chovals which have been christened "Abdal"

33- Sienknecht Collection; Sari-Tehrani; Textilum

In another rare elem type rows of trees with ashik heads stand guard as if electrified.

Hans Sienknecht published two examples with this elem,one described as
Chodor,the other as P-Chodor

34-Sienknecht 22;and 34(As2 knotted)

35- Bonhams 13 April 2010(71)sold for 2701 pounds; Reuben II-24; Craycraft/Grogans

Two pieces with ashik diamond medallions flanked by tridents are so similar that they may once have formed a pair

36-Mete Mutlu-Ronnie Newman; Beau Ryan

At least twelve examples are known with the green or blue ground Asmalyk

37-Above:Steve Price;Astrid Krainer;Below:Ali Aydin;Sienknecht Collection 62

The following share designs found on a group of Tekke ensi

38-Tom Cole,Imprints 14; Atlantic Collections 207; Elmby III-18

39-Herrmann,ATT 2-56

Bright and bouncy are the chovals displaying the Gapyrga design

40- Wiedersperg(ex TbTb);Nagels 54T-83;Tent Band Tent Bag 19

41- Şeref Özen; Rippon Boswell 28 May 2011(228)

The Gapyrga is also rendered with a serrated leaf.The first example here can be compared to the Wiedersperg piece above

42- Rippon Boswell 41-37; Reuben II-37; Wayne Barron

As previously noted,by far the largest group of 9er chovals have an undecorated elem.Those featuring the bat border are best represented by the triangular göl group,but two pieces missing their elem have rounded göls

43- Tent Band sale Sothebys 8.12.1990(32); Rippon Boswell 24 March 2012(41)

The difference could not be greater.Good examples with the triangular göl are more often found

44- Eastland-Özen-wonenart; James Blackmon; Raymond Bernadout 1996

45- Atlantic Collections 210; Private Collection

Another related group employs a Star Ushak-type secondary

46- Ronnie Newman; Raymond Bernadout

A further refinement of the bat border occurs

47-Above:Ronnie Newman,Fred Hazin;Below:Beau Ryan,Rippon Boswell 30 November 2013(229)

In the classic plain elem group it is interesting to compare the folowing two items,both of which employ the same göl,elem,secondary and minor border



Some excellent pieces use the Chemche,a secondary ornament subject to constant variations

50-Above:Ben Banayan,Munich ICOC 2;Below:Rippon Boswell 4 December 2010(3),David Reuben II-22

Many pieces exhibit a cross secondary,again highly varied

51-Above:James Cohen,hali 160-17,Astrid Krainer;Below:Ali Aydin;Craig Hatch-Ronnie Newman

Distinguished as ever,the Salor kochak border appears on a number of interesting items.Rugs in two German collections have been named"Pseudo-Chodor"due,apparently,to their As4 knot.Although many of the items illustrated here are Persian knotted,they are still much closer to the Yomut aesthetic than the Chodor

52-Left:Sienknecht Collection 31;Right Tentband Tentbag 25(Hoffmeister Collection)

53-Christies 8 April 2014(24)

Two last pieces in this division feature an Erre and Dyrnak secondary


55-Washington ICOC 39

In the plain elem type with triangular gol this declension starts with the box-star secondary,or Tscharsh Palak

56-Above:Wayne Barron,Private Collection;Below:Private Collection,Pinner Sale 7,RB

With Chemche secondary,the group can be divided into boxflower border,cross secondary,and Tekbent border

At least four exquisite pieces from the Boxflower border group are of interest including two pieces from Eskenazi/Thompson which are surely from the same hand,and perhaps were once a pair

57-Left:Eskenazi;Right:Thompson sale

58-Left:Hoffmeister 82;Right:Reuben II-25

Four examples from the cross secondary group

59- Craycraft-Frauenknecht-Haliden; Below:Nagels 11 November 1995-1182

60-RB 47(142)

Plus a stirring item from Matthias Wohlgemuth

61-masters of proportion

An interesting rug with Erre secondary from the Thompson Collection sold well at Sothebys NY on 16 December 1993(41) having been retained"for its aesthetic quality"

62-Thompson Sale-$4,600

Other examples feature the Kochak border

63-Above:Şeref Özen;Below:James Cohen

An elegant item appeared at Rippon Boswell

64-RB 54 (181)

Typically refined are those pieces with the cross secondary

 65-Şeref Özen; Below:Hali 68(107)

Two pieces conclude this selection from the plain elem/triangle göl group

66- Nagels 23; Turkmen-70

A group of Yomut chovals also employ the Tekke torba göl.This is insofar complicated,as there exists a rare group of Tekke 9er chovals(the following) which also use the torba göl

67-Above:Elmby I-4;HJ Krausse,Hali 142-91;Below:David Reuben II-3;NERS online exhibition

And now the Yomut chovals with "Tekke" göl

68-Above:Rippon Boswell 13 November 1993(150);Skinners 5 December 2009(72);Below:Reuben II-31);Reuben I-74

The group was first isolated by David Reuben.A further four examples feature some exquisite examples,ending with the BOT piece from the Tent Band Collection of Jack Cassin.

69-Above:Rippon Boswell 28 March 1992(69);NERS online exhibition;Below:HJ Krausse;Tentband Collection 14

A few selected items round off this entry.The first two pieces feature a rare type of "reduced" Erre göl

70- Sothebys 27.4.1994-64; Elmby III-17

71-Above:Karadashli,Rippon Boswell 68-84;Rippon Boswell 50-50;Below:ebay-Sari;Russian Collections 18

72-Above:Bo Joseph;Private Collection;Below:Sothebys 2014;Atlantic Collections 208

73-Above:Mideast meets Midwest,56;Moshkova-G.O`Bannon 115;Below:Rippon Boswell 64(178);Private Collection

A last duo seem so closely related that Hali`s reviewer wondered if they may have been a pair(Hali 151-165).The upper piece,from the collection of Ned Long,was sold at Sothebys for $7,200 in 2006.Hali described it as having non-lustrous wool and coarse weave,indicating a later date.But why should that be?
74-Above:Sothebys 14 December 2006(189);Below:SOT X(94a)


 The main ornament,secondary,and border of the Herrmann example also appear on a main carpet sold at Nagels on 14 November 1981.

76-Nagels 294-116

The Yomut also wove their choval göls on main carpets,thus undermining Moshkova`s "dead göl" theory.Should the reader not have wearied too much during this preamble,he or she may now proceed to Part II,a study of Yomut main carpets with the choval göl.


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