Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >More on The grogan Engsi
email: [email protected]
Sat, Jan 26th, 2008 02:04:12 PM
Topic: More on The grogan Engsi

A number of months have gone by since this engsi was sold at grogan's auction during the Boston acor event. We illustrate it again for all you readers who might not remember it or who's memories could use some refreshing:

We also urge readers to see our comments about this engsi which are located in the AUCTIONS WORLDWIDE Topic Area under the topic "grogan's acor sale".

Our views have not changed about this piece and, in fact, we are still trying to figure out exactly what this Turkmen weaving was/is all about.

We did not believe it to be very old, nor did we think it was anything other than a workshop produced weaving.

We have located some further information but, as yet, still do not have anything 100% positive to support our belief.

Recently this engsi was offered for sale on the internet:

The seller stated it was new in his description.

The reason we are posting this photo is the remarkable similarity the bottom kelim and knotted warp fringe have in comparison with the grogan piece.

Knotted warp fringes are extremely rare in old Turkmen weavings and we do not ever remember seeing one on any Turkmen we felt was pre-1850.

While we only had a cursory look at the grogan engsi during the preview before the sale, and saw no reason to truly examine it more thoroughly, we believe it is not new. However, we do recognize the outside possibility it was newer than the mid-19th century date we hung on it.

Neither have we examined the other piece we illustrate but we will take for granted the seller's declaration that it is new.

Regardless of the age of the grogan engsi compared to the other piece, the fact both of these pieces display a original knotted warp fringe gives some further credence to our calling it a workshop production.

Let's also remember we did mention some other questionable aspects in our review of its sale that also led us to this conclusion.

We intend to continue to try and correctly place it within the Turkmen weaving continuum and will, as we see fit, publish more of our ideas here on RugKazbah.com. Stay tuned.

Author: rugluva / some other made up name Jack uses
Sat, Jan 26th, 2008 02:04:12 PM

RK Replies: Are you so full of yourself to believe we label you with those monikers because you "Disagree" with us?

Warm bull turds to you mate, that's preposterous.

Plus the only "sycophant"ic admirers we know of are over at your usual perch -- Virginia Commonwealth University professor steven price=clown's birdland rug-webslight.

No, you can't hide behind that skirt, boy, try again; but, a bit harder please, as RK's audience i...s.... sophisticated.


Furthermore, if this is supposed to be a discussion board why do you label anyone who disagrees with you as a "spit-ball thrower" or "dingo". Get a grip. If you want to preach to a bunch of imagined sycophant admirers don't call this a discussion board and shut down the posting option. Reality is not as you imagine it and people will question you.

Author: Robert Boyd / Doug Fineman / some other JC alias
Sat, Jan 26th, 2008 01:54:40 PM

RK Replies: Your insinuations and dopey tautology, added to the pointlessness of your posting here to draw generalities from such miniscule basis, is boring.

What we said is clear:

1. no early Turkmen rug can be positively ascribed to any known group. Of course, we use name-tags to discuss them but structure/material comparison is the most effective, and so far our chosen, way to categorize them.

The camel question is another, far even, droller one, why harp on it?

Our contention few early and far more later Turkmen groups had/used camels is far more logical when comparing the areas the Turkmen are known to have inhabited, by choice or force, at those periods.

But, again, you are not here to discuss rugs but only to make yourself feel important.


But get some points clear before you stretch out and make yourself at home: putting words in our mouth like "the rugs you love" are your words, not ours.

We never said we love any rug - we respect some, honor a few and are not concerned with the rest.


So let's get this right once and for all without the name-calling, Jack. You just stated...

"The Turkmen groups most historians and ethnographers wrote about have never been positively associated with the people who produced the EARLY HISTORIC carpets RK researches and collects. Period."

So are you saying that Turkmen in Central Asia had no camels in the 17th and 18th century and in the nineteenth they somehow did?

Or, are you sayng(sic) that despite the fact that you refer to your "historic" weavings with such tribal names as Tekke, Yomut, Salor, etc., the people who wove the rugs that you love have no relation to 19th century tribal groups with the same name?

However, you would like to spin this, your assertion is demonstrably false.

As a side note, if "everything goes at the kazbah" please do not edit my posts.

Author: Trooth Seeker
Sat, Jan 26th, 2008 11:25:51 AM

RK Replies:

We are not going to bother rebutting this except to say only a spit-ball throwing lout like this poster could possibly believe he is doing anything other than showing what a rug clown he is by pursuing this a tack.

We will gladly admit our statement about the camels was too generally put and we we should have defined it further to prevent misinterpretation.

However, and that said, we didn't figure on professor clown, or other clowns like robert, continuing to press the point after we have explained it before -- not only here today.

'Nuff said on this one, we trust?

Our statement questioning the possibility kejebe torba, even a one medallion small one like the one in that sotheby sale, could have been used as asmalyk is one that the jury is still out on. However, we do not believe any early Turkmen group used these torba as bridal asmalyk? Why do we harbor such an idea?

For starters, no kejebe torba has a white background, which is the chosen color for most "bridal" pieces.

Second, the kejebe is originally, in our opinion, an engsi design/amulet that was, at some later but still quite early date, amalgamated and combined into the kejebe torba format.

Proof for this is the fact we know ancient engsi with the kejebe design but have never seen a kejebe torba that was nearly as archaic and early.

Believe what you wish but the idea a kejebe torba, like the sotheby piece, were part of the bridal litter in early, historic Turkmen culture is nothing but tooth-fairy trooth. Perhaps in later, post-conquest Turkmen society they served that function but this is aberration of history, not history.


"We find it amusing and ignorant on the rug departments part to call it a camel trapping in the catalog, as the Turkmen had no camels and even if they did how would a large bag or panel with a horizontal design like this been used or displayed on one?"

Copied and pasted from review of Sotheby Spring Sale 2005.

Author: Robert Boyd
Sat, Jan 26th, 2008 11:22:54 AM

RK Replies: Listen up dingo and you might learn something.

The Turkmen groups most historians and ethnographers wrote about have never been positively associated with the people who produced the EARLY HISTORIC carpets RK researches and collects. Period.

The interpreted and crapola pseudo-history (as expressed by these later observers of the Turkmen) a dingo like you bases his opinions on have about as much to do with the weavings produced by the early Turkmen groups, RK collects and discusses, as a classic comic book does with the original.

This is a fact carved in stone and even a weak-sister like you, robert, should have realized this by now.

But, in the end, what is the purpose of your writing in here? To try and prove RK is a know-nothing?

Good luck with that one. And keep those spit-balls coming, twerp, 'cause eventually we'll make you eat them.....

Yes, you heard it here, the Met's animal rug is an Afshar but we would not expect a rug-ignorant to believe that until it is written on the front page of hali.


So the Met's animal carpet was woven by Afshar's?

PS- According to all reliable anthropologiacl(sic) and historical sources, the Tekke, Yomut, Salor, Sariq and Ersari (whoever they were) all had camels. I could not find information on the Arabachi but seeing that camel wool and cotton in Arabachi structures is often seen as a defining factor in identifying the group, somehow I suspect that they did. Which other Turkmen weaving groups did you have in mind?

Perhaps you should spend more time reading books rather than self-publishing your wack-job amature ideas at Kinkos.

Author: Robert B.
Sat, Jan 26th, 2008 06:57:35 AM

RK Replies: Hey Dingo from Chicago:

1. We never said the Turkmen did not have camels.

We said the following: Not ALL Turkmen groups had/used camels. Period.

2. We never said Turkmen groups did not hang asmalyk on camels. What we did say is: While some Turkmen groups did hang asmalyk on the side(s) of the bridal litter, no long Kejebe torba(like those made by the Salor) were ever used for such a purpose.

You, robert b., are clearly one of professor price=clown's group and its about time you all faced the fact accusing me of this is completely unsupportable and nothing but more of price's BS-nonsense.

By the way, robert b., how about being honest and doing some researching to find out exactly what RK wrote, and then apologizing here for getting it wrong?

Try that on for size, midget-brain...


So you were right, Jack when you stated that 'the Turkmen never had camels and even if they did they would never hang an asmalyk to the side of one'?

Author: jc
Thu, Jan 24th, 2008 02:29:55 PM

RK still opines the engsi gorgan sold, and ebberhard herrmann bought at this sale, is not what everyone, well at least those two, believe.

We have published photos of the distinctive, and heretofore unknown on any genuinely old Tekke engsi, warp finish the grogan/herrmann piece displays. We have also commented on the reality this warp finish, and other aspects, demonstrate this engsi is not a real historic Tekke weaving but rather one made outside the societal norms for these pieces.

We have suggested the engsi was made in a workshop and is, in no way, a true representative of historic Tekke work.

To add to the file of evidence we are still engaged in collating, we publish a picture of a very late and equally questionable Saryk engsi that was recently offered for sale online.

And here are two close-ups of the warp finishes, the grogan/herrmann engsi on the left and the Saryk on the right.

By the way, RK would be totally surprised to learn either of these two engsi were, in fact, actually made by the Turkmen groups to which they have been ascribed.


Well, for starters: Both have that late, formulaic appearance, and enough design abnormalities, to make any expert observer question their ultimate authenticity.

Author: John lewis
email: [email protected]
Sat, Sep 9th, 2006 02:49:01 PM

RK Replies: Hear Hear!

but be careful which dealer you trust. We have met a number of experienced dealers whose opinions are no better than the poseurs, pundits and clowns who parade on the internet. Years of selling rugs does not necessarily a knowledgeable person make.


There is a whole area of study called "Expert systems" (or Knowledge Based Systems") where the domain knowledge of an expert, be it an oil well logger, a medical doctor, sonar operator etc. is captured as a series of rules. These take the form "If X and Y but not Z then conclusion A".

The "domain experts" often cannot give truly logical reason for their rules, but they are based on their experience and guess what? They work.

If you treat JC as a domain expert and test his assertions - then you will discover whether they are right or wrong.

Many domain experts assert that they are right (medical doctors are especially prone to this trait). In some disciplines, mathematical theories are available that sometimes conflict with the experts' rules.

In "rugdom' this is not the case and everything more than 150 years old (I refer to Turkmen studies) is "unknowable".

There cannot be a "proof" - there are no real rug academics; it is a (very) soft science - so soft that in almost no circumstances can rug studies be considered scientific.

So forget all the "academic" rubbish - their contribution, Except in a very few cases, is not significant - I would tend to trust a very experienced dealer more.

Author: Pradeep Dutta
Sat, Sep 9th, 2006 02:12:38 AM

RK Replies: We did already note the IP address of your posts locates to India but that, like anything netwise, can be faked.

What can't be faked is spelling the word argument correctly and while you're at that dictionary look up the words database and expert.

And by the way, please note when our opinions are proved factual, as many have been, it is not by accident.

Tsk Tsk

See ya at the curry house?


Hi JackI am afraid you are wrong, my name is Pradeep Dutta of South Mumbai - you are shooting in the wind with that one.Incidently, your response actually confirms my point. Forexample, you wrote: "By the way and in case you forgot, many of the opinions we have issued in the past have later gone on to become proven and/or acccepted as fact."Now thats dandy - you have expressed many opinions, and guess what, many of them have subsequently been proven. Isn't that exactly what people regularly take you to task for, confusing your opinions with fact. If some of your opinions turn out to be correct, well, by itself, that's just a coincidence. Until you advance an arguement - perhaps using the data base you allude to - your opinions are just those of a carpet wallah, no more, no less.

Author: John Lewis
email: [email protected]
Fri, Sep 8th, 2006 12:57:02 PM

As astarting point, does anyone have a pre-1850 turkmen piece with a woven knotted fringe - or know of one?

Author: Grenouille
Fri, Sep 8th, 2006 11:32:53 AM

"Plus, what does rugdom need less than more big mouthed flapjaws, like you, bub, and your pedantic do-nothing BS and holier-than-thou crapola."


Author: Pradeep Dutta
Thu, Sep 7th, 2006 12:14:42 PM

RK Replies: First off, your inability to post with your own name plies buckets of hogwosh on your positions.

True to fact, you are correct in your asserting there is an bysmal state of affairs in rugland. However, RK can not agree with anything else you have so gratuitously scribbled.

Secondly, RK does have a database and trust us on this one, freddy, its thicker than anyone else's.

By the way and in case you forgot, many of the opinions we have issued in the past have later gone on to become proven and/or acccepted as fact.

So pipe down and do some homework -- you might learn something.

Plus, what does rugdom need less than more big mouthed flapjaws, like you, bub, and your pedantic do-nothing BS and holier-than-thou crapola.


Once again, Jack, I can only shake my head and chuckle at your incredible self-confidence, which reflects poorly on both you and the abysmal state of rug studies.

What so-called "expert" in any social science or indeed, any of the fine arts disciplines, would ever have the confidence to simply make an assertion to the effect that "Knotted warp fringes are extremely rare in old Turkmen weavings and we do not ever remember seeing one on any Turkmen we felt was pre-1850." Again, you simply conflate your opinion with fact. To assert that something is rare, you would need some sort of a data base against which you determine frequency of output. But you have none. The fact that you dont remember seeing one is perhaps interesting, but thats not enough to hang a claim to truth on.

One of the problems with rug studies is the fact that, in the almost complete absence of trained academic input, the field is dominated by carpet wallahs like yourself, many of whom seem completely unable to distinguish an opinion from a substantiated fact. And repeating the opinion again and again is as unlikely to turn this into a fact either.

Yours truly,

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