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-   -   Advice on Turkmen Rug books (http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/showthread.php?t=5055)

Kay Dee August 12th, 2018 01:37 PM

Advice on Turkmen Rug books
Gents, what is your advice on buying book/s on, specifically, Turkmen rugs.

I have two in the mail by Elena Tsareva;
Turkmen Carpets: The Neville Kingston Collection: Pub 2016
Turkmen Carpets: Masterpieces from the Steppes from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century: Pub 2011

Is it worthwhile / necessary then to also buy Werner Loges book Turkoman Tribal Rugs, Pub 1980, or are the above more 'up-to-date'? That is, is Loges book a bit dated as some reviews say? (It is also rather expensive for an older second hand book, i.e. a decent copy costing what the other two combined does - and they are new, as opposed to s/h.)

Or.................. ............... suggestions?

Also, is there any one book that does the Baluch a decent service?

TIA! :felix:

Steve Price August 12th, 2018 10:21 PM

Hi Kay

My go-to Turkmen book is still Jon Thompson's catalog of the Turkmen exhibition at the Textile Museum (Washington). It's old, but not seriously out of date except in subdivisions of Ersari.

My favorite Beluch group books are Boucher and Diehr.

Steve Price

PS - Only yesterday my sister-in-law sent me a copy of Carpets of Turkmenistan, published in 1983, nearly a decade before the USSR collapsed. The color reproduction is typically Soviet (awful), the section with portrait rugs includes the usual images of Lenin, of course, along with one of Fidel Castro. The text of the introduction sings praises to the glorious laborers who so happily spent their lives glorifying their Soviet leaders. It's divided into sections in which rugs (often spelled "r-a-g-s") are divided by their functions. Every one except namazlyks has a function associated with it.

Rich Larkin August 13th, 2018 01:36 AM

And she's not a 'gent'....!
Hi Kay,

I haven't seen the two Tsareva books you mentioned, but I consider her one of the more authoritative Turkoman commentators out there, for whatever that's worth.


Kay Dee August 13th, 2018 08:50 AM

Rich, first, re 'she' (Elena) may not be a gent, but haven't seen her posting on here, so addressed it to most of you 'Gents'. However, given this is a dual sex participation forum, maybe I should have started with 'Folks' then. My bad. :pie:

And Steve, is this the Turkmen book you mention?
Turkmen; tribal carpets and traditions.
MACKIE, Louise W. & Jon THOMPSON (Edit)
Published by Washington D.C. The Textile Museum (1980)

As for the Beluch one, I can't find it using just the authors names, so would you be kind enough to post actual name of book please.

And thanks gents, opps I mean folks, :angelic: for the input in helping a neophyte like myself with my education in a world I am am rather unfamiliar with, i.e. west of the Durand Line, whereas many of you folks here seem expert in, or at least very very knowledgeable.


Steve Price August 13th, 2018 12:18 PM

Hi Kay

The Turkmen book is the one you cited - Mackie and Thompson/ The twp Belouch books that I like best are Boucher's Belouchi Woven Treasures and Diehr's Treasured Baluch Pieces.

My apologies for shooting from the hip last time.

Steve Price

Rich Larkin August 13th, 2018 12:37 PM

Treasured Baluch Pieces was a 'sort of' sequel to Three Dusty Dozen, also from Frank Diehr. Both are well worth having.

Joel Greifinger August 13th, 2018 03:19 PM


I agree with Steve's Baluch book recommendations.

Of the two Diehr books, the earlier one, Treasured Baluch Pieces from Private Collections (1997) has the additional virtue of containing a group of excellent introductory essays and interviews that help put pile rugs 'in the Baluch tradition' into a useful context. The Boucher has very good photos of just flat-out beautiful rugs. There are only ten books in the category, but a number started out as dealer exhibition/sale catalogs and are much more uneven in the quality of the pieces represented.

Joel Greifinger

Chuck Wagner August 13th, 2018 04:23 PM


I have all the books mentioned above, but for me, the best survey book on Turkmen work is the one put together by Uwe Jourdan from Nagels Auction House for the Antique Collectors Club book series on oriental rugs: Volume 5, Turkoman

The inaccuracies are no worse than in any other volume and it is a really broad collection of material.


Kay Dee August 13th, 2018 06:23 PM

OK, thanks folks (well, so far, just 'gents' really). :)

Have located all of the books. THANKS!

A few are reasonably priced (Jourdans, Thompsons, and Diehrs TBP), although not cheap. Unfortunately Belouchi Woven Treasures by Boucher is hard to find except for 126 quid (cheapest one) plus postage ex Amz UK, and 85 USD ex Amz USA plus postage which would push it over $100. :(

Save for that expensive one, I will certainly grab a couple of others at least.

EDIT! Opps, I found the wrong volume of Jourdans book, the cheapest one recommended by Chuck that I could find is 175USD (yikes) plus 30+ postage to where I am! :pie: Guess I wont be buying that one after all. :(

Marvin Amstey August 17th, 2018 12:21 AM

Hi folks
I would add to the list "vanishing Jewels", edited by George Obannon and published in 1980. I do this not to point out my Turkmen collection at the time, but to recommend the first half of the book with 4 worthwhile essays about the Turkmen culture and ethno-history with a state-of-the-art essay about dye testing at that time.

Andy Hale August 17th, 2018 04:30 AM

I have most of the books mentioned. Can't really bring myself to recommend any of them, especially at the prices some of them sell for now.

One not mentioned that I liked was O'Bannon's translation with commentary of Moshkova "Carpets of the Peoples of Central Asia". I have been critical of some of his other work but he really came through with this one.

An essential book IMO would be "The Turkmens in the Age Of Imperialism" by Prof. Dr Mehmet Saray. It will give you a good idea of what kind of world the Turkmen lived in and serve as a useful corrective to many of the ill-informed comments regarding them made by some on this website and elsewhere. Though after reading a genuine scholarly work, it may spoil a lot of the textile literature for you!

I think you can still buy it for $15 on Ebay, shipped from Turkey.

Kay Dee August 17th, 2018 05:34 AM

Marvin, I assume this is the one you mean?

Vanishing Jewels: Central Asian Tribal Weavings.

Marvin Amstey August 17th, 2018 01:18 PM

That's it.

Kay Dee August 17th, 2018 03:32 PM


First, thanks Marvin.


Originally Posted by Andy Hale (Post 25311)
An essential book IMO would be "The Turkmens in the Age Of Imperialism" by Prof. Dr Mehmet Saray. ..............I think you can still buy it for $15 on Ebay, shipped from Turkey.

Not on ebay UK or ebay USA, but 'elsewhere' for $14 on up. Thanks for the tip Andy.

Thirdly, just received in mail today Elena Tsareva's book 'Turkmen Carpets; The Neville Kingston Collection' (published 2016).

One word = STUNNING! :cheers: :clap: :cheers: (And it doesn't cost an arm and a leg; well, maybe part of an arm, but seems real value for money IMHO!)

Pic below from blurb on back cover (unfortunately poorly scanned be me I might add!).


Kay Dee August 18th, 2018 12:56 PM

A question?
Is Jourdan's book - Volume 5, Turkoman - worth getting for the photos alone, that is if it was in a language you didn't understand a bar of, but it was very very cheap? :confused:

Steve Price August 18th, 2018 04:02 PM

Hi Kay

Jourdan's book probably has more examples of Turkmen pieces than any other single source. It's properly on every Turkmenophile's bookshelves for that reason. Even better if it can be had at a modest price.

Steve Price

Kay Dee August 19th, 2018 07:59 AM

Thanks Steve, then I''l probably buy it for the images alone. Just waiting to hear postage costs, but given where it is and where am am can't be too much................ ......but, you never know, as oft found that when some books offered 'cheapish', the seller 'makes up for it' with postage cost.

But even so, in this instance, book still would be cheaper by far than any others I have seen for sale, so.................. ...

Pity it is in German though. :nerd2:

Steve Price August 19th, 2018 12:43 PM

Hi Kay

There is an English language edition, but I'd be surprised if it can be had inexpensively.


Kay Dee August 19th, 2018 01:12 PM


Originally Posted by Steve Price (Post 25348)
Hi Kay

There is an English language edition, but I'd be surprised if it can be had inexpensively.


Steve, I know, and it can't! :(

Hence why I will buy the German one for photos alone it seems.

Kay Dee August 20th, 2018 12:15 PM

Gents, don't mean to be rude but am URGENTLY awaiting advice on this book, as bookseller holding book for me (since I first posted this a couple of daze ago. :( Therefore, I hope you understand me 'upping the ante' as it were. :)

So.................. ......if I may again ask, what is this book then, if Vol. 5 is also on Turkmen?:confused:

Oriental Rugs Volume 4: Turkmen rugs. (Battenberg Antique Catalogs) by Uwe Jourdan? (which can be had for about half the price of the Vol 5 Steve suggested below).

Whats the difference / is it even from the same 'set'?

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