Home > The Beat Goes On >Carpet Reveals design origin of a Sumak Khorjin
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Tue, Dec 17th, 2019 09:20:10 AM
Topic: Carpet Reveals design origin of a Sumak Khorjin

RK has often written about our search for the unknown origins of the complex and sophisticated iconographies displayed on historic Turkmen, Anatolian and trans-Caucasian weaavings.

Every once and a while we have been able to discover surprising connections of previously unrelated types of weavings.

These connections have helped to answer the unknown questions surrounding why certain designs were incorporated into weavings made in far distant locations and over periods of many hundreds of years.

Recently we wrote about a pair of extraordinary and wonderous sumak khorjin, aka bagfaces, we were fortunate to acquire.


Sumak khorjin, one of a pair; RK collection

Although it is a well-known fact certain groups of western Central Asian people migrated west, through what is now the trans-Caucasus, Armenia and eastern Anatolia, little to nothing is known about what type of weavings they might have made and what type of iconography they displayed.

The obvious corollary concerns migrations in the other direction, from Anatolia through the trans-Caucasus and back into weatern Central Asia.

This is a very promising area of inquiry we believe can prove fruitful in ongoing research.

Sometime ago we can across the photograph of this Anatolian village rug.

Anatolian village rug fragment Turk ve Islam Eserleri Museum (TIEM), Istanbul

We had never seen it before, or at least did not remember, but immediately saw the iconographic connection to this sumak khorjin.

The TIEM rug has been dated to the seventeenth-eighteenth century but we would make it somewhat earlier, circa 1650.

It is a fragment, size circa 130cm by 140cm, of a larger carpet. However we do not think it was much larger lengthwise, not more than 200cm.

The most striking similarity it and the khorjin share is the articulation of the small field medallions and the reciprocal trellis formed by the medallion outlines.

Although the khorjin border is not as distinctly depicted as the stars between the carpets field medallions, it is not much of a stretch to see the relationship.

A futher point worth citing is the connection the carpet major border and one that rarely appears on sumak khorjin. But it does furthering the relationship between this carpet and sumak khorjin weaving.

The earliest we know is a khorjin fragment, detail below.

Detail sumak khorjin previously offered for sale on the internet whereabout presently unknown

All three of these weavings are exceptionally early, something which undoubtedly is the reason they exhibit such rare iconography, as well as the reason for their design connections.

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