Recently we received an email from a reader who asked us about this (western) Turkish rug fragment:
We learned from the email it is illustrated online on a website we had never heard of.
Here is the owner's description:
"The closest parallel found to this rare design is a rug illustrated in Hali, Vol. I, Issue 1, fig. 6, p. 87 which has similar multiple layered niches to each corner of the field and a shaped border, 're-entrant' on one side and projecting on the other. In this rug, the 're-entrant' shape is mirrored on both sides. This example may also be related to the Red Double-Niche Rug, dated to the late 15th century, illustrated in Kirchheim, E. Heinrich, Orient Stars, Stuttgart and London, 1993, pl. 200, p. 317.
Circa: 17th century or earlier. Dimensions: 5 ft. 3 in. X 4 ft. 5 in. (160 x 135 cm.)Price: $39,900"
This description, which is surely as fanciful as the absurdly high price, waxes a bit gloriously while the rug, itself, lays there like a dead duck that is beginning to mold.
Yesshhh, 17th century or earlier? Come on now, man, have you no sense of propriety?
This "piece" is nothing that RK would even bother to stop the car for if we saw it laying there in the street, let alone open our wallet up wide to acquire.
And relating it to those other pieces to make it important strikes us as nothing more than more of the same malarkey.
We don't intend to waste our time proving what a dud this rug is. Nor are we interested in helping the owner to realize how far off the mark his description really is.
However, that said, we will be glad to put this rug's iconography into the proper perspective. It is, in our estimation, nothing more than a Turkmen kejebe knock-off and a not very good one at that.
We have seen a number of similar Turkish bastardizations of the kejebe design over the years and, frankly, this one is surely not a very good one.
In fact, it's pretty lousy and, as there is nothing we like about the piece, we find it hard to believe anyone would even consider buying it at a fraction of the asking price, let alone paying full retail.
Beauty is surely in the eye of the beholder and RK would never argue with anyone, the owner of this fluffy mess included, who stated they thought it was beautiful. Though we might suggest a visit to the closest optometrist, that is unless the viewer was holding on to a seeing-eye dog.
But we will be glad to argue the point this rug is, at best circa 1800 and not anywhere near "17th century or earlier".
More significantly, we will be glad to demonstrate why it is, as we see it, nothing more than a turkey of a Turkish rug and not something worth just shy of 40,000 dollars.