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Sun, Dec 29th, 2013 09:04:54 AM
Topic: Rug Relations

Detail early 19th century or older Belouch small format carpet, RK Collection

There is absolutely no doubt any antique oriental rug is truly unique. All of them had predecessor and descendant.

And while someone might point to one that is presently appears to be unique RK can positively assure you the one it was modeled after and the one that copied it at one time both existed. While this might not a times appear so, its just they have yet to be discovered.

RK has 100 percent faith this is about the only rule antique oriental rugs and related textiles maintain.

But thanks to this situation placing related weavings on a continuum allows the best and most important method to judge them. Of course the judge must be highly experienced and possess a strong understanding of the type of weavings for this to be effective.

This method provides both a timeline to date weavings, as well as a way to judge quality. After all comparative analysis, when properly applied, doesnt and cant lie.

When we acquired the Belouch small rug (detail above) we had not seen another example that was more than just vaguely related.

And true to our rule we expected someday to find either an earlier or somewhat later closely related example.

Several years later, just recently in fact, this Belouch small carpet turned up.

Belouch small format carpet offered for sale at auction

So now that a descendant has shown up will its even older predecessor make an appearance?

PS: Here is a link to a full picture of the Belouch rug shown in detail above as well as some other info and pics.


PPSS: Speaking of predecessors we just noticed this Caucasian-type carpet fragment has appeared for sale.

It is most likely eastern Anatolian and a propos provides within its design the probable source of a rarely used motif seen in a small group of rarely encountered yellow-ground Caucasian rugs.

lot 92, grogan rug auction Jan 12, 2009

This is the specific motif we are talking about.

Left: detail of yellow rug from the Caucasian group; Right: detail of the eastern Anatolian fragment.

Here is the same comparison with the detail from the Eastern Anatolian fragment rotated 180 degrees to facilitate recognition.

Interestingly the fragment also provides one of the probable sources for a somewhat related motif that appears in an early circa 1800 soumak bag, which by the way is so far unique.

Left: Soumak khorjin front, RK Collection; Right: detail of Soumak khorjin

Here are two details to show just how close this relationship is with the soumak khorjin as well.

By the way, we are patiently waiting to discover the soumak khorjin which we consider to be its predecessor.

Author: jc
Sun, Dec 29th, 2013 09:04:54 AM

RK has received several emails about this topic, particularly the relationship of the soumak bag and the east Analolian rug fragment.

Perhaps we were not clear enough -- the only analogy we see is between the soumak khorjin motif and the similar one from the rug fragment. Otherwise we are implying no other iconographic relationship(s).

And while the rug fragment lends insight into the history of the soumak khorjin motif, it is the weaving in the photo below that puts this khorjin, and that somewhat degenerate motif, into its proper historical perspective.

Long-stitch Caucasian embroidery fragment, circa 1600, RK Collection, published Kelim Soumak Carpet and Cloth: Classic Weaving of the Caucasus, 1990

RK has published this picture before here on RugKazbah.com, as well as in the Weaving Art Museum Soumak Bag exhibition (http://weavingartmuseum.org/ex2_main.htm) and interested readers can search our archives, or the museums website for further commentary.

RK plans, as soon as the catalog for the upcoming sotheby carpet sale reaches us, to offer some thoughts on the Caucasian embroideries, from the Chesrow Collection, that will be offered for sale.

Then, at that time, we will revisit discussing this motif.

We have long been interested in these weavings, having acquired the fragment above, and another one also illustrated in Kelim Soumak Carpet and Cloth book as well as here on RugKazbah.com, in Paris in the mid-1970's.

We have owned other later, complete and fragmentary, examples but never found any that could compare to our two fragments, hence our jetoning all the others.

It will be interesting to finally see what Chesrow has after hearing about a private collection in Chicago with some great Caucasian embroideries for the past decade or so.

Stay tuned

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