Home > JC'S Corner >It's All In The Details: Anatolian Kelim
Author:RK
email: [email protected]
Sun, Jul 19th, 2020 01:21:28 PM
Topic: It's All In The Details: Anatolian Kelim

Its All in the Details


Detail Anatolian kelim fragment recently offered for sale on the internet

Here is a larger detail of that kelim.

RK is pretty sure this fragment appears to most readers as a very early example. It has some interesting features and what appears to be excellent color.

We cannot argue, but how early is it?

Since accurate calendar dating is impossible, RK relies on an art historical comparsion of any weaving with others of its design group to get a relative age.

One of the major tenents ruling these comparisons remains the fact a weaving is only as early as its latest element.

The small detail above shows a very ubiquitous design motif, one that is found on countless old kelim. However, it is not found on any of the small group of earliest Anatolian kelim, those RK has identified as archetypes.

Here they are:

Vakifar Museum, Istanbul Turkey; Inv. No.S93; 1.72 x 3.60cm, 58 x 110in

Islamische Museum, Berlin Germany; Inv. No.I 3088; 153 x 395cm, 50 x 141in

RK collection, USA; 325 x 72 cm, 108 x 25in; published Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim; vol.2.Plate 1, 1989

RK collection, USA; 337 x 72 cm, 113 x 25in; published Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim; vol.2.Plate 2, 1989

RK collection, USA; 240 x 125 cm, published Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim; vol.2.plate 3, 1989

RK collection, USA; 275 x 67 cm, 92 x 23in; published Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim; vol.2. Plate 4, 1989

RK collection, USA; 372 x 74 cm, 125 x 2.5in; published Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim; vol.2.Plate 5, 1989

published Anatolian Kilims, Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, California; Inv. No.1987.387; 210 X 102cm, 36 x 69

published Anatolian Kilims Fine Art Museum, San Francisco, California; Inv.no.2003.87.4; 383X182cm

published Anatolian Kilims, Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, California; Inv.no.1989.79.2; 254 x 141cm, 47 x 84in

published Anatolian Kilims, Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, California.; Inv. No.2003.87.3; 254 x 142cm, 48 x 84in

More about these archetypes can be found here:

https://www.rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?id=2892&refnum=2892

Look carefully at them and you will not see this motif. It does not appear.

What does appear, and in only one example, is this.

Detail part of the Birthing effigy totem; RK collection

Here is the entire panel. Look at the center of each of the birthing effigy to find this icon, the archetypal version of the later motif.

What's the difference you might ask, and what does it mean. Here are the two designs side by side.

Left: Accreted detail; Right: Iconic original detail

It is easy to see the detail on the left has an extra pair of hooks, aka animal/bird heads. The one on the right doesn't have this feature. But the major difference is this iconic design appears as an integral part of a far more complex one, the totemic birthing effigy figure.
detail Totemic Birthing effigy figure

Additional evidence this version is the early source are the colors and the complexity of this kelim versus the other.

The fact this later accreted motif does not appear in any archetypes is enough proof for us it is a later invention.

Two pairs of hooks are a small addition but they are significant or the weaver would not have included them. Clearly the weaver did not know they did not belong because by the time she was weaving the original, less complicated version, had disappeared and was no longer known. So was it being part of the totemic birthing effigy kelim

Its all in the details and subtleties, never forget that in your collecting efforts.

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