About three years ago RK published this thread to commemorate what we saw as a resurgence of interest in kelim, particularly Anatolian ones.
The coming Vok collection dispersal sale was on the horizon and even though it contained no masterpiece --- ie Archaic period --- examples, there were some excellent later ones.
We also noticed renewed interest elsewhere among collectors, dealers and investors. This trend continues today but regrettably there is hardly any discussion public or otherwise, besides what passes for it on several faRcebook groups, one in particular called 'kilim'.
RK has already spilled some words describing our 'adventures' in the faRcebook jungle of warped wefters and weftkickers. No need to visit again.
But several months ago this kelim, from the deYoung Museum collection as well as one of ours, was posted on the kilim group webpage and a healthy amount of commentary was quickly elicited.
Anatolian kelim panel; deYoung Museum McCoy (ex muse) collection; dated on the museum's website 17th century; assession number 1987.38.9
RK knows this kelim well. We had the opportunity to closely examine it several times when it was still in muse's hands, and have handled it and seen it again several times since at the museum.
It's one of the dozen earliest and best in the museums large, but of varying quality collection. However it is not as early, historically important, or iconographiclly sgnificant as the one below that is unfortunately a much smaller fragment, probably only about half from a similar but smaller size panel.
RK collection; published IMAGE IDOL SYMBOL: Ancient Anatolian Kelim, Plate 7; 1989
We also own another related fragment that was published along side it (below) which is even smaller and somewhat later, though still earlier than the deYoung panel.
We believe this fragment was originally part of the other panel belonging to a kelim published in the Goddess from Anatolia Plate IX no. 6.
Complete panel of very similar design; published in Goddess from Anatolia; Plate IX no.6
Based on this trilogy of kelim, it can be almost sure our earlier fragment likewise once had four large hooked icon in its field.
While it might be difficult to determine relative age based solely on comparing these icon, when the elem panels are also compared there is little doubt the Goddess from Anatolia example, and to an even greater degree the deYoung kelim, are later renditions.
Also the absence of the plethora -- but a deliberate and highly organized complex one -- of hooks attached to the radial arms and lower niche outline on the deYoung panel has to be seen as another reason to date it later than the others.
The figure and ground drawing these hooks create adds an important dimension, one that in different places can be interpreted as totemic in both an anthropomorphic and an animistic sense.
This raises a number of questions. Perhaps the most obvious: Did the weaver of RKs kelim, and to a lesser degree the Goddess from Anatolia one, know about this potent readable reciprocal iconography? And conversely did the weaver of the deYoung kelim not know, or knew but for some personal reason chose to exclude it from her weaving?
Of course this is as unanswerable as it is moot. But there is a proof in this pudding, and that is the undeniable fact this reciprocal imagery exists and therefore its inclusion, whether or not understood by the weaver, could only have existed as part of the historic weaving that instructed and guided her work.
It is equally plausible its omission shows the weaver of the deYoung kelim was not as connected.
Another factor is the loss of a small but perceptable degree of design articulation and proportion in the elem panels. This is yet another indication of this disconnect.
Subtle differences are everything when attempting to build art historical continuums to relatively date weavings like these.
Opinions based on nothing but punditary hot air carry no weight and RK is positive many on farcebook will continue to think the deYoung panel is the earlier, as it is less visually busy.
This is a nothing but a fallacy as the busy llook is not without rhyme and reason. For without those busy hooks a very deep and potent part of this type of kelims iconography is completely lost.
In our Anatolian Opus RK has discussed at some length how these large hooked icon were developed from a combination of Archaic period design iconography. Interested readers can find that here: