Posted by R. John Howe on 05-20-2004 06:48 AM:

Steve -

I seem to recall a darkish asmalyk of yours that I saw when I visited you once. I think it may be a different piece from this one. I quite liked it.

Also, although my scanner is not working at the moment there was a very nice asmalyk in the recent first phase of the Rippon Boswell sale of the Robert Pinner collection. Someone with that catalog might put it up. It has a nice complexity that I can't remember seeing before.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 05-20-2004 08:18 AM:

Hi John

The asmalyk on the Hajji Baba site is the one that hangs on a wall in a spot where I can see it while sitting in front of my computer.

I don't have the catalog of the Pinner sale, either, but perhaps one of the readers has it and can scan in the picture to which you refer. It might even be up on the web already.

Steve Price

Posted by Steve Price on 05-20-2004 02:23 PM:

Hi John

This asmalyk from the Pinner sale appears in the sale preview on the HALI website. Is it the one to which you refer? I think it's OK, but unless the colors look much better in person than they do on my monitor, it doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as a number of other "pole tree" asmalyks do.


Steve Price

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 05-20-2004 07:50 PM:

Better photo?


From the rather low resolution photo on the Haji Baba web site, it is quite difficult to make out the details of your asmalyk.
Can you post a better photo? Or, better yet, just send the asmalyk to me to look at more closely.

I particularly like the green or blue-green in old Yomud weavings. The lattice in your piece is nice, almost like the thorny branches of a rose bush.
I wonder if the dealer you bought it from purposely placed it in the pile instead of prominently on the wall-expecting to generate that feeling of finding a rare treasure.
I do not know very many dealers who would not consider it quite special, although I still hope for such an occurence to happen to me.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Steve Price on 05-20-2004 08:36 PM:

Hi Patrick

Here's a photo I just took of it:

I don't know if it's any better than the one on the Hajji Baba site - Turkmen pile textiles just seem to drink up light, and are very difficult to photograph accurately (for me, at least).


Steve Price

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 05-21-2004 12:05 AM:

funky top


I see from your photo that the top of the asmalyk has an "unresolved" design. The lattice looks "cut apart" at the top of the field. The top left gul is complete, but the top right gul is not.
Speculation is that these weavings were made in pairs. Does this mean that the pile on half of the extant asmalyks should be pointing down and on the other half the pile should be pointing up?
If this is the case, the first asmalyk woven would have the pile pointing down, with a possibly unresolved upper field, while the second, upward pile asmalyk would more probably have a resolved upper field. Unless, of course, the asmalyks were woven with both bottom-up and then the "top" asmalyk would be the one with an unresolved upper field due to the weaver running out of warp.
Have you done a survey to see how many asmalyks have unresolved upper field elements?

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-21-2004 03:09 AM:

Thumbs up

Hi Steve,

That is something that cannot be transmitted when we discuss rugs in cyberspace: their tactile qualities.
Rendering the correct colors of rugs in digital imaging Itís already a difficult task (incidentally, the picture on the Hajj Baba site "sounds" more correct to me).

Thatís a handsome piece. Would you have chosen it without a tactile contact?


Posted by Steve Price on 05-21-2004 06:03 AM:

Hi People

Filiberto: I would almost surely have taken it even with more ordinary feeling wool, but my first contact with it was tactile and it made quite an impression before I ever saw it.

Patrick: I don't know anything about the mechanics of doing asmalyks on a loom, so I have nothing to add to (or subtract from) your speculations. The asymmetry that you notice tends to be characteristic of early specimens, and those attributed to, say, the second half of the 19th century and later are usually pretty much bilaterally symmetric.


Steve Price

Posted by R. John Howe on 05-21-2004 06:39 AM:

Steve -

No the Pinner piece to which I refer is not the one you have put up. In fact, checking it did not appear in the first Pinner auction catalog either. (There was a "bird" asmalyk in that auction. And several others.)

I must have seen it at ACOR 7 (some of the Pinner pieces were there in the exhibitions). I took photos and will consult my ACOR 7 archives to see if I can find it.


R. John Howe

Posted by R._John_Howe on 05-21-2004 08:13 AM:

Here are three images of two asmalyks.

I am pretty sure that the first is from the Pinner collection and is the one to which I referred. Note the internal instrumentation.

The other two images are of the Tekke "bird" asmalyk that did appear in the first catalog for the Pinner auctions. A classic piece, of course, but one that we see in the literature. Pinner analyzed this group in Turkoman Studies I.

Posted by R. John Howe on 05-21-2004 09:02 AM:

Dear folks -

I misspoke above. The second Tekke asmalyk is not of the "bird" variety but rather of the "animal-tree" sort. This is the group that Pinner analyzed in Turkoman Studies I.

Posted by Henry Sadovsky on 05-22-2004 10:18 PM:

erre gul asmalyks

The red ground erre gul asmalyk that John has posted here was not included in the May 15 Rippon Boswell sale of Pinner's collection. Apparently there are other items of his that are to be presented in a second auction. If John is correct about this piece belonging to Pinner, perhaps we will see it then?

Besides the "animal tree" and "pole tree" asmalyks previously illustrated in this thread, the Pinner RB auction included four additional asmalyks. They are all of the same general design category as Steve's piece, though one is apparently of the Eagle Gul group. Their evident quality ranges widely, and this was reflected in the hammer prices (not including the 20% buyer's premium) spread between 1400- 4600 Euros.

It is fascinating to consider how differences in color schemes, proportions, and drawing result in such varying impact of these, at-first-glance-similar, weavings. I am sorry that I do not have the equipment needed to reproduce the catalog photos.


Posted by John Taylor on 05-24-2004 03:15 AM:


The redground asmalyk was bought on ebay by "eyeforcolor".It was later seen on Hali`s website.I believe it`s now in the possession of Peter Papp.Red ground asmalyks are uncommon.The piece was not at the Pinner sale.

John Taylor

Posted by R. John Howe on 05-27-2004 06:46 AM:

Dear folks -

Life is short and we probably ought to restrict debate to serious things, but I am puzzled by John Taylor's assertion in the immediately preceding post, that the "red ground" piece is not in the first phase of the Pinner sale.

Perhaps Mr. Taylor refers to this piece, which I said I thought might be in the Pinner collection. That indication could well be in error.

If Mr. Taylor was referring to the piece above, no problem.

But if he is referring to the "animal tree" piece that I posted (which also has a red ground), then he needs to look at Plate 78 in the catalog again.


R. John Howe

Posted by John Taylor on 05-27-2004 11:26 AM:

I was referring to the red ground lattice design asmalyk.You can see it on Hali`s website,in the archive("A delightful Winter,Feb.10 2004)