Journal Home Page Attribution Guides Collector Exhibits Links

Salon du Tapis d'Orient

The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please include your full name and e-mail address in your posting.

Rug Identification

Dear folks,

If a rug's origin isn't clear, it must be deduced from the rug's characteristics by a process of elimination. Design, colors, structure, materials, size and shape, are among the criteria used in such detective work. One of the purposes of this salon is to demonstrate the use of these and other more subtle indicators when confronting the problem labeling a difficult rug. All of these indicators usually point in the same direction, but sometimes they give contradictory or ambiguous results.

Which indicator would prevail in this case? The first rug (rug#1) presented here has an intriguing design, but it is not very helpful in determining its origin. I believe that most of the indicators point to the same origin, and will explain why I think this rug is from northwest Turkey. I hope someone will disagree and explain the basis of his attribution.

The second rug (rug#2) is labeled "Central Anatolian" by its owner and, in fact, the design and colors are consistent with this attribution. But its structure, with thick handspun cotton warps and wefts as well as the fact that there is only one thick weft between each row of knots and overcast attached selvages are suggestive of northwest Persian rugs. In this case, then, the usual criteria give contradictory orientations. What would be your attribution for this rug? Why?

The third rug (rug#3) is an old south Persian bag face that has been made into a pillow. Its medallion design is typical of the Basiri tribe of the Khamseh confederacy. Following James Opie, considering the asymmetrical knots open to the right, it would normally be given an Afshar attribution. In this case also, design and structure give contradictory outcomes. So, once more, what would be your attribution?

The last rug (rug#4)presented here is a "mystery" rug from Wynnewood Jerehian commented upon by Wendel R. Swan (HALI, #91 page 168).

I think the web can be an interesting forum for practicing and learning the skills needed in rug attribution, and hope you will enjoy this exercise.

I thank the editors of HALI for permission to reproduce rug #4 on these pages.

Best regards

Daniel Deschuyteneer

[ Post Message ] [ FAQ ]

Post A Message!




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

Scripts and WWWBoard created by Matt Wright and can be found at Matt's Script Archive