Welcome to TurkoTek's Discussion Forums

Archived Salons and Selected Discussions can be accessed by clicking on those words, or you can return to the Turkotek Home Page. Our forums are easy to use, and you are welcome to read and post messages without registering. However, registration will enable a number of features that make the software more flexible and convenient for you, and you need not provide any information except your name (which is required even if you post without being registered). Please use your full name. We do not permit posting anonymously or under a pseudonym, ad hominem remarks, commercial promotion, comments bearing on the value of any item currently on the market or on the reputation of any seller. Turkotek Discussion Forums - Reply to Topic


Go Back   Turkotek Discussion Forums > Miscellaneous (rug-related) Topics > Great descriptive (but old) book!

Miscellaneous (rug-related) Topics Opinions on books, articles, recent auctions, exhibitions, etc.

Thread: Great descriptive (but old) book! Reply to Thread
Your Username: Click here to log in
Random Question
Title:
  
Message:

Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Topic Review (Newest First)
September 28th, 2017 03:24 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Folks,

Since we are beating this topic into the ground, it is only fitting that I do my part. This little (ca. 2'+ X 4'+) mat features some (presumably) clipped sculpting. It doesn't show very clearly on the screen, but the middle image gives the idea. The clipping is at the color separations on that lantern, or vase, or whatever it is.







I note (with regret) the inconsistency of the color fidelity from image to image. The most accurate is the middle image, though its tone is just a tick towards the version of the light blue of the bottom image. There is a slight color shift as between the front and back, but it is not nearly as pronounced as it appears here.

I take the rug to be a rural product. There is a modest amount of hair ("kemp") in the pile, giving it a different texture than one finds in the more conventional Chinese product with clipping around the designs. Furthermore, the light blue was absorbed unevenly by the yarn, resulting in the heathered effect shown in the middle image. I assume this was the result of the manner in which the wool was prepared for dyeing.

It happens I acquired the piece (about 45 years ago) at the same time I acquired the tiger pelt patterned mat I posted earlier. In fact, I was only going for the blue mat immediately above, having been mezmerized by the heather field; but the elderly dealer from whom I was buying, who had been serving as something of a rug mentor for me at the time, reached into a stack and pulled out the tiger stripe number, saying, "Here, you want this one too," adding it to the bill. I was concerned I didn't have the dough , being in school at the time, but I was too embarrassed to object. I lacked the wit at the time to realize he was doing me a big favor. Anyway, I came up with the cash, and it all turned out well.

I believe the red dye shown in the rug no longer appears in Chinese rugs, the rights having been purchased by the Kool-Aid soft drink people. Dye-crank that I am, I don't really mind. It hasn't bled, and I am careful to keep the rug out of the bathtub.

Rich
September 28th, 2017 01:19 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Folks,

The little (Beijing?) mat is a good example of the sort of 'sculpting' I was referring to. I have handled a few of these. The overall weight and weave character of them is quite different from the piece I posted in frame #57 of this thread, and the degree of sculpting is much more subtle than the Beijing type.

Rich
September 27th, 2017 11:48 AM
Jeff Sun
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay Dee View Post
That 'Land of Snow Lion' is a great book, eh Jeff! Really is one of the three I consider the very best on said subject.

Anyway, here is a pic of a sculptured rug owner claims is Tibetan (which it isn't) and circa 1900, but I doubt that 'fact' to. He

However, it shows well the sculpturing / incising technique intentionally done.

Good example on sculpting.Considerin g it Looks like a Tianjin or Beijing fragment from the last 50 years, sculpting is to be expected.
September 27th, 2017 10:09 AM
Kay Dee
Scupltured rug

That 'Land of Snow Lion' is a great book, eh Jeff! Really is one of the three I consider the very best on said subject.

Anyway, here is a pic of a sculptured rug owner claims is Tibetan (which it isn't) and circa 1900, but I doubt that 'fact' to.

However, it shows well the sculpturing / incising technique intentionally done.

September 27th, 2017 02:59 AM
Jeff Sun Hi Lloyd,

Back to your rug for a minute. The the book discussion earlier in this thread lead me to buy From the Land of the Snow Lion. On page 80 of this book, Elena Tsarev talks about the rare usage of Carving Effect and Sculpturing in Tibetan rugs.

1. Carving effect is a natural process caused by the uneven wear of differently dyed, or different quality of yarns. The end result, over time is pile of slightly different heights. This is most often seen on high end monastic rugs, because a commissioned rug weaver could draw from several sources as they saw fit. In contrast, most homemade rugs only use one type of wool...whatever was wandering around the pasture most likely.

2. Weavers must have been pretty quick to catch on that the carving effect made some designs really stand out in 3 dimensions.Sculpturing (her term) is what we have been calling carving. This is a trim done by hand to achieve the same effect as natural carving. An imitation if you will.

Well, that's Tsarev's hypothesis anyway. Who knows what the weaver's actual motivation was. Probably just to make it look good.

Having already determined from the weave that your rug is not Tibetan, but given the Tiger skin motif, and general excellent quality, it could have been made for the Tibetan market, specifically, the Tibetan monastic market. And of course either Carving Effect or Sculpturing could apply to your rug.

Tsarev mentions that the way to tell the difference between the two effects is that tufts subject to carving effect will all be equal, where as hand done sculpturing will be a gradual fade. To be plain, she mixes her terminology at the end, but I think that is what she meant to say.

As from the pics it looks like the effected outline is only a couple of pile tufts wide, I would say it is likely Carving Effect rather than Sculpture. Not much room for gradual fade in such a small space.

Discuss amongst yourselves ( insert sheep, yak and cashmere goat emoji here).
September 23rd, 2017 05:58 AM
Kay Dee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Amstey View Post
Photoshop works.
I have found that a 72dpi web rug image can usually be 'pumped up' to 125dpi (thus automatically increasing width and height also) without any / Úr at worst very very little loss of quality in most, while some others may need a little more tweaking to get 'clear / sharp'. Much bigger than 125 and they seem to start 'falling apart' / blurring up.

However I also collect WWII naval photos, and oddly (if 72 to start with) they dont like to go higher than 100dpi before starting to 'fall aprt'.

I guess a lot depends on what one finds accepatable though.

Does anyone have any other PS tricks they'd like to share?
September 15th, 2017 05:50 PM
Marvin Amstey Photoshop works.
September 15th, 2017 03:52 PM
Rich Larkin Thanks, Marvin. Is the preferred method of enlargement to transfer it to Photoshop and pump it up? Or is there a more esoteric method that preserves or enhances quality?

Nice throneback, too!

Jeff,

Thanks for the cogent comments.

BTW,

Quote:
To paraphrase rug scholar William Martin Joel:

"You may be right.
I may be crazy.
But these just might be the kind of rugs you're looking for."


You can never go wrong invoking Billy Joel!!
September 15th, 2017 03:39 PM
Jeff Sun
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post
Hi Jeff,

Good to hear from you.

I think proposition #3 is closest to the answer....
Hi Rich

To paraphrase rug scholar William Martin Joel:

"You may be right.
I may be crazy.
But these just might be the kind of rugs you're looking for."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post
Jeff, from following your visits to these pages, I take it you are an enthusiastic observer of the antique rug markets in and around China. Is that so? If it is, have you encountered in older rugs the subtle clipping of surface designs into plain colored fields like the pale yellow border in my rug?
Yes...I've spent some time rifling through stacks of rugs in and around China. I would agree with Kay that it does look like it is carved. I have encountered some such carved rugs. Some, as in few. Carving was done earlier than most people think, but clearly became more prominent in the 20th century, doubtlessly aided by the use of electrical sheers and clippers and a sense of fashion. So that the rug is carved, doesn't necessarily mean it is "new". Certainly not "third quarter of the 20th century".

And regardless of it's age, it is a super nice rug. 5 stars. The "Fish-Scale" border I like very much and have not seen that pattern executed in that way.

Also, I feel there is a thread on the "carving" topic somewhere....
September 15th, 2017 01:56 PM
Kay Dee
Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Amstey View Post
Here is a throneback from my collection, circa 1800, that has a lot of subtle clipping defining the waves at the bottom.
NICE (and somewhat unusual, with only the two dragons) throne-back Marvin!
September 15th, 2017 01:11 PM
Marvin Amstey Rich
Here is a throneback from my collection, circa 1800, that has a lot of subtle clipping defining the waves at the bottom. If you enlarge the bottom of the image they become apparant

September 15th, 2017 02:40 AM
Rich Larkin Hi Jeff,

Good to hear from you.

I think proposition #3 is closest to the answer. I don't favor the theory of the weaver running out of the color, because the black was used in place of the 'stone green;' but that color was evidently in full supply through the rest of the weaving. The repair theory is also unlikely, as the area surrounding the stripes is clearly original and in very sound condition. I would love to go for the rock band theory. I will have to apply to our friend, Paul Smith, for the musical research. I have to think, though, that the stripes are some kind of marker for the weaver.

Jeff, from following your visits to these pages, I take it you are an enthusiastic observer of the antique rug markets in and around China. Is that so? If it is, have you encountered in older rugs the subtle clipping of surface designs into plain colored fields like the pale yellow border in my rug?

Rich
September 14th, 2017 10:15 PM
Jeff Sun
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post
  • An interesting detail of the design appears in the detail shot. It is the single line of black within one of the tiger stripes. In fact, this stripe is along one edge of the field about half way up the rug. It consists of ten knots, and it is repeated exactly in a corresponding stripe on the opposite side of the field. The knots are black, not the deep blue found elsewhere in the rug. The black yarn does not occur anywhere else in the rug other than in those two stripes. The black lines are lower pile like the green areas adjoining them. Certainly, the thin black lines were incorporated intentionally. Does anyone know what the reason may have been? Identifying markers? Does this sort of talismanic feature appear often in other Chinese rugs?
Man...I go away for a little bit and all this fun happens!

Hi Rich-

Here is my postulation on the black stripes:

1. It's a mistake, accidental or purposeful. For example: the weaver ran out of yarn of one color and purposely made due with something else. They kept the symmetry so at least it looked balanced. This is my strong favorite.

2. It's a repair. Unlikely really. But maybe.

3. It is a marker...kind of like "snapping lines" in the carpentry trade. Rugs from Shaanxi often have periodic red weft threads that achieve this purpose.

4. The weaver was part of a hard rock band known as "The Black Stripes", not to be confused with "The White Stripes".

Take your pick!
September 13th, 2017 04:49 PM
Kay Dee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay Dee View Post
You and Jeff have convinced me, book is on order.

Edit: And yes, Pierre, THANKS for answering ALL my questions, and then some!
Well gents, Glanz der HimmelsŲhne arrived and................. .................... was all you claimed and more, and so what if I can't read German, pics alone worth the price!

Again, THANKS for the recommendation to both of you!
September 13th, 2017 07:33 AM
Kay Dee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post
If you count down the roundels along the spine of the rug from the top, there is wear across the rug, mostly on the left side, between #s 8-10.

Would you consider that to be evidence of saddle wear? The location of it seems off judging from your three interesting examples. There isn't much wear elsewhere in the pile.
Short answer, no.

If that was on both sides, say where a riders knees or boots, etc, may have rubbed that area then more inclined to say 'maybe'. But not just on one side, and if rubbed there then should be some wear in the 'middle' from the saddle, however slight, which there appears not to be.
September 12th, 2017 12:29 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Kay,

I misunderstood your description of the typical wear from saddle use.

If you count down the roundels along the spine of the rug from the top, there is wear across the rug, mostly on the left side, between #s 8-10.



Would you consider that to be evidence of saddle wear? The location of it seems off judging from your three interesting examples. There isn't much wear elsewhere in the pile.

Rich
September 12th, 2017 08:04 AM
Kay Dee First, THANKS Pierre for all that wonderful dying info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post
There is no wear pattern of that nature. I have never thought my mat was a saddle rug. It is of light character as a fabric, not the stout sort of weave I associate with Tibetan rugs.
Well I wasn't saying it was Rich, just asking if any tell-tale signs showed it may have been (used as such).

See below several examples of 'top' saddle rugs, two Tibetan (top) and one rather old Chinese Ningxia (bottom), and note the 'center' deterioration in all three where it rubs on the wooden saddle. However, if a rug is not used often (as a top saddle rug), this wear can be so minor / subtle it can't really be seen in a photo (so hence my question).

Now one of those Tibetans' below is a Wangden / Wangdan made / weave (the top one, with similar dimensions to yours), and rather OLD (in Tibetan terms) to boot. Not sure if you know much about these type of rugs, but you only have to look sideways at some and threads start falling out, literally. So the type of weave, i.e. light, heavy or Wangden seemingly makes / made no or little difference if used as a top saddle rug or not. The Ningxia is rather light but given it and its accompanying bottom saddle rug's age (a very rare set for this genre! ), it could just be from being 'worn down'.

By the way, how many KPSI does yours have (and yes, I realise KPSI has very little bearing when talking Chinese / Tibetan rugs, but just interested is all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post
I don't want to be a troublemeker, but do we hear any support for the Loch Ness Monster? Rich
Damn, your right! Nessie existed after all! (BTW, good catch Rich, no pun intended.)






September 12th, 2017 03:30 AM
Rich Larkin Hi Pierre,

That is fascinating information, not the least of which is the fact that results with the use of copper salts in the mordant could be very unpredictable. In years past, I had experience with a number of the so-called Ferahans with the ab-i-sangar or stone green. It was a very distinctive and recognizable shade, suggesting that some dyers evidently had a keen understanding of how to get what they wanted. In addition, though the color showed some erosion, it was rarely if ever severe, as is often the case with the old, corrosive black/brown.

I also saw a number of what I would consider Hamadan rugs that included the 'stone green' color, most often as the ground color of the border (as was the case with most of the Ferahans as well). These Hamadan-type rugs (i. e., single-wefted on cotton foundations) were often in sizes I considered "old school," such as 6' X 12'. Of course, the Ferahan area is not far from one sector of the Hamadan weaving area.

Thanks for the thorough review.

Rich
September 11th, 2017 07:07 PM
Pierre Galafassi Hi Rich and Kay,

You are right, guys, I forgot the stone green, stone blue and celadon green.


I havenít seen a chemical analysis of any of these dyes yet, but it is indeed likely that a copper mordanted wool, dyed with one of many natural yellows like weld (Reseda lutea), isparak (Delphinium zalil) or dyerís broom( Genista tinctoria) etc..may have been a key component of this Persian- and perhaps Chinese gamut of shades, going from greenish yellow to almond green, via kaki and greenish grey. All rather pale shades.
I suppose that a base of very pale indigo dyed- or Saxon blue (*) dyed wool was part of most recipes too (note please that in pale shades an indigo blue is quite greenish. The deeper the indigo shade the redder it goes).

Some years ago, I played with these natural yellows and copper salts as mordant (or co-mordant, with alum as main mordant) in my little cottage lab.

It appeared that even with a lab equipment vastly superior to what our ancestors used (including a pH-meter, an analytical scale, and a thermostat- controlled lab dyeing vessel), the shades obtained with this method were quite unpredictable.
Then, the choice of the yellow dye also strongly influences the dyeing outcome. Isparak, for example, is quite likely to lead to a kaki without warning.
Not to mention the Damocles sword of fibre degradation, under light exposure, when the amount of copper in the fiber is excessive, or when the final rinsing is insufficient to eliminate the excess of copper ions.

This experience led me to suppose that this dyeing method must have had a limited success with dyers and weavers, except of course the odd Kamikaze.

While we are at Asian- blues and greens on wool, there are two more rare birds, perhaps worth mentioning:

Dyerís bugloss, (Alkanna tinctoria) can be cajoled into yielding various shades of dullish blue, which together with natural yellows are potential sources for almond- or celadon greens too (reasonable fastness).
Not an easy dyeing method though and the necessity to use a water/alcohol dye-bath may have been a strong deterrent (or a strong motivator). It seems that some Turkmen dyers still know today its dyeing potential. One of my rugs has a bit of violet, dyed with Alkanna.

19th century visitors of China spoke of Lo Kao, a beautiful, natural emerald-green dye. Awfully expensive, it was probably used mainly for Imperial textiles (nearly exclusively silk of course, but the dye worked for wool too). Some French chemist tried to identify the molecule as a first step for its industrial production, but were stopped in their tracks by the boom of synthetic dyes. IMHO Lo-Kao may have been a natural indigoid molecule, perhaps extracted from a Chinese variety of Rhamnus.
It is not very likely that this dye found its way in plebeian wool rugs.

Note:
(*) Saxon Blue, a sulfonated indigo molecule, yielding a rather greenish shade of blue, was used in Occident since the 18th century. It may have been imported in India/China on ships of the East India Company.
September 11th, 2017 12:53 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Kay,

Quote:
When looked at very closely, can you see any indication of wear, however slight, across the center of your rug as it were (that would indicate it may have laid long-length-ways across a saddle) which would indicate it being a top saddle rug?
There is no wear pattern of that nature. I have never thought my mat was a saddle rug. It is of light character as a fabric, not the stout sort of weave I associate with Tibetan rugs. Also, I would think small Chinese mats of this general size category are not unusual. In fact, when I got this one, I also acquired another Chinese mat of a heavier texture (and different weave) only slightly bigger...maybe 2' X 4'.

BTW, the comparison of the 16th century fragment you posted with these other tiger models is interesting. The squiggly in the frag has a very distinctive shape, especially in the lower section, that can't be an accident. I don't want to be a troublemeker, but do we hear any support for the Loch Ness Monster?

Rich
This thread has more than 20 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.