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- Mini-Salon 8: Holiday Party at the Keshishian's. by R. John Howe (http://www.turkotek.com/VB22/forumdisplay.php?forumid=60)
-- Salor Chuval (http://www.turkotek.com/VB22/showthread.php?threadid=1403)

Posted by Tim Adam on 12-22-2005 12:07 PM:

Salor Chuval

Hello all,

I'd be interested in what you think about the Salor chuval.

I find the proportions of this chuval quite akward, and surprising for genuine Salor work. In my opinion the primary guls are too large, the border is too wide and stiffly drawn, spacing of the guls is not at its best, and even the inner field of the primary guls appears to be too large given the size of the gul.

This chuval looks like a Salor but does not make the impression of a Salor. The condition seems to be perfect. Could it be a repo?


Posted by R._John_Howe on 12-22-2005 07:16 PM:

Hi Tim -

The evaluation of pieces (as we see daily on this site) is quite heavily a matter of personal preference. I do see the aspects you describe in this piece, but don't experience them in ways that would lead me to use your adjectives. (Have you noticed the extent to which our analyses of pieces are often heavily a matter of adjective choice?)

I can only say that the ownership of ANY Salor piece is a kind of occasion (this one has the classic indicators, asymmetric knot open left, deeply depressed warps, high knot count, Salor device usages) and so the first move is not to critique.

This was a social gathering so not many folks are likely to say negative things about any piece presented in the general show and tell conversation itself, but I was in some of the informal conversation about this piece, and despite the fact that this group is composed mostly of folks who are quite experienced collectors, I heard none of your reservations about this piece even whispered (and that sort of things does happen in such settings) by those who had it in their hands.

Many experienced collectors NEVER own a Salor weaving and so the arrrival of one is usually an event that evokes something other than quick critique.

I would not say that there is no such thing as a bad Salor (that would be foolish) but it is noteworthy that the other Turkmen tribes (who basically dessimated the Salors) also acknowledged the general excellence of their weaving by collecting their pieces before Westerners even knew of them.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 12-22-2005 07:58 PM:

Hi John

I would add that much of the aesthetic appeal of Salor pieces is their very rich color and luxurious feel. The colors of this one may not be accurately represented on my monitor - it doesn't look "Salor-ish" in that respect. And for some reason, the photo almost makes it look rigid, rather than like the flexible textile that I'm sure it is.

In general, though, I share Tim's reaction to the piece.


Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 12-22-2005 09:40 PM:

Hi John,

Even though Salor chuvals are rare, one can buy Salor pieces at any time from various dealers or auction houses. So, I don't think the event that someone decided to purchase a Salor chuval is in any way special, except for the acquirer.

If at a social gathering people are reluctant to offer their honest opinions, then this is completely understandable. But I did not interpret your salon as a continuation of Keshishian's party. When you invited comments I thought you meant both positive and negative comments. Is this not the case? I am sorry if I misinterpreted your invitation.



Posted by R. John Howe on 12-22-2005 10:24 PM:

Tim, Steve -

Our anonymous poster (Ed. Note: The anonymous post has been removed. Steve Price) suggests that my indication about the structure and knotting of this piece is in error. I did not have it in my hands (but I could have) but asked someone who had been examining it and understood from him that it had both an asymmetric open left knot and sharply depressed warps. Perhaps Bob Emry will settle that.

Yes, we entertain open discussion of the pieces posted on Turkotek, I just thought Tim was a bit quick to "jump on this piece." Apparently, Steve sees it in some ways as Tim does.

My own view is that it is a better piece than that and not deserving of Tim's uniformly negative description.

Such is the way of the rug world. Even the experts often disagree---vehemently.

Tim, I can testify that quite often an unusual piece bought by someone is the impetus of a real occasion for some others as well. That happens relatively regularly at the TM rug morning programs. As I said, this chuval was the center of a noticeable "stir" among a group of not inexperienced attendees.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 12-23-2005 07:43 AM:

Hi All

As most of you know, we don't permit anonymous or pseudonymous posts on Turkotek. One appeared about 12 hours ago, and I posted a message asking the author to send me his name. It hasn't happened yet, so the post has been deleted.

The essence of the anonymous message was that Bob Emry said (to who?) that the chuval is knotted asymmetric right, and has a flat back; both contrast to what was posted by John Howe.

Bob Emry looks in on Turkotek from time to time, and if he cares to comment on the knotting of his chuval, I'd be glad to hear from him. Unless/until he does, my inclination is to believe that if the chuval doesn't have Salor characteristics, someone at the Keshishian's party would have noticed it


Steve Price

Posted by Wendel Swan on 12-23-2005 11:55 AM:

Hello all,

I was at the Keshishian party, but I didn’t hear any of the discussion about the “Salor” chuval and I only saw it briefly. What I saw of the colors, guls and a bit of the back indicated that I needn’t spend any time with it.

Salor pieces are usually the noble sort that compel one’s attention – even I love them and I’m not a Turkmen collector.

Bob Emry has some very nice Turkmen rugs, but this is not one of his better ones. The implication is that there was a lot of discussion because the chuval was so wonderful. I wonder what discussion could have taken place about this rug. And why.

Far more attractive and interesting was the purple ground Yomud main carpet elem fragment that was on a chair in Harold’s den, as John has mentioned.

Further, Harold’s magnificent boteh sumak panel was on the back of a couch in the living room. While it is seen fairly frequently here in the Washington area, its presence should always be noted.


Posted by R._John_Howe on 12-23-2005 09:49 PM:

Hi Wendel -

There is no implication that folks were "astir" about Bob's piece, I saw it. Perhaps, since questions have been raised about its technical characteristics, that was the source of it: that the knot was not the usual expected for a Salor weaving.

Please note that I have not said that Bob's chuval is a great piece, only that it was said to be a Salor and I saw it being examined closely in a group. I have seen some Salors that I didn't particularly care for, sometimes even with the wonderful crimson red they can carry.

You are right about Harold's great boteh sumak. It is in our archives somewhere but someone with a copy of the ICOC X catalog should scan it so folks can see what we're referring to. (I'm on the road until December 29th or I'd scan it myself.)

As for the purple-ground engsi elem in Harold's study, although it was interesting and did puzzle us, I'd personally rather have Bob's Salor chuval. And, as you know, I'm not allergic to fragments.


R. John Howe

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