Wednesday 3 December 2014

Doors of Jannah-Turkestan West

A group of fragments from the Magaki Mosque in Bukhara woven in a pure,kilim-like style have surfaced over the last few years at various auctions.The original Saph is said to have been constructed in 1874.The most substantial piece is still held by the Mosque(actually 2 pieces sewn together)


Another fragment from presumably the same carpet was auctioned at Rippon-Boswell`s in 2014,achieving a hefty $166,110

136-RB 31.5.2014-96

A last fragment was published by Bausback in his 75 Years Anniversary Catalogue


Martin Andersen has  published a graphic collage


Two fragments from another carpet both surfaced in London.They were commented upon by Hali as being significantly older than the preceeding,an assumption supported by their condition.They are more in the style of the Beshir prayer rugs typified by a piece in the Dudin Collection


The larger fragment was sold to a solitary bidder for $94,355 in London 1998

140-Sothebys 29 April 1998(96)

A second fragment sold at Christies London on 17 October 2002(141)for $27,730


Interestingly the serrated outlines seem to imitate dovetail kilim technique.

Further reading:Hali APG 99-127;126-135;180-138.

A group of three Ersari carpets with chevron designs appear also to have been inspired by flatwoven counterparts


143-Skinners 5 December 2009(71)

144-Herrmann,SOT X-97

A number of other Turkmen manufacturers specialised in Chevron design Saph carpets with kilim designs,such as the "Eagle-Göl" group.A batch of knotted carpets in traditional prayer rug design is attributed to the Middle Amu Darya Ersari,no doubt produced in large urban centers

145-Straka Collection

The Straka Collection  piece above is generally considered the best of a poor lot.Of unmitigated ugliness was an enormous carpet sold at Christies on 9 April 1988(79) for a measly $6,050

146-Christies 1988

Another large item went at Skinners in 2002

147-Skinners 20 April 2002(54)

Two related examples were published by Schurmann and Eiland,both featuring a mihrab-within-a-mihrab scheme

148-Central Asian Rugs 47


A version with stacked mihrabs appeared at Nagels 37th Sale

150-Nagels 37(27)

Published by David Sorgato in Ghereh 39


The following recently sent in by Michael Black features an appealing Mina Khani in spontaneous style

152-Courtesy Michael Black

Not a Saph,but a small carpet with the remains of its original Shirasi,the following Lot was sold at Rippon Boswells on 19 May 2007 for 7000 €

153-RB 2007

Last but not least a solitary panel from an Ersari Saph in the boteh style


A small contingent of Turkmen trappings mirrors the saph theme,especially a group from the Ersari/Kizilayak Zone


A smaller group from Central Asia,known commonly as "Uzbek" feature a more pictorial view


Plus a late entry kindly sent in by Igo Licht

157-Igo Licht

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