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-   -   An Ersari (?) Ensi with some interesting motifs (http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/showthread.php?t=4279)

Chuck Wagner September 17th, 2017 06:10 PM

An Ersari (?) Ensi with some interesting motifs
 
Greetings all

Several years ago (2006) Louis Dubreuil put together an interesting discussion thread on what he thought might be an Uzbek ensi salon, and followed up a couple years later with a Salon discussing the use of the kush motif on ensis.

Links:
http://www.turkotek.com/misc_00039/uzbek_ensi.htm

http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00130/salon.html

Within the Salon he went into great detail, which I won't try to repeat here - but - I will note that specifics on the type of kush motif on my ensi (below )were sparse. In his earlier discussion, he had identified a couple other pieces that fall into the same general class as this ensi, based on the kush elements and the guard borders:

This example is from Louis' thread is from ORR vol 10, # 6, aug/sept 1990, and is the closest to mine:
http://www.turkotek.com/misc_00039/u...ller_ensi1.jpg


I find the nature of the motifs on my piece, and their rendering, to be out of step with my perceptions of size vs. age for ensis. This piece is large for a Turkmen ensi at 81.5 in (207 cm) X 70 in.(178 cm). Yomut pieces are often this large, Tekke generally smaller. Most of the older ensis that I am familiar with (including the animal-tree ensi in the main article) are significantly smaller.

Here are a few images and related comments:

Note that in the center field panels, each panel holds a single kush element, with lots of open space, a characteristic I associate with earlier rather than later pieces. Also note that the kush motif has the birds head style rather than the generally later candelabra style:

http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/eren_a.jpg


Also note that the center panel border and guard border motifs are also typically associated with earlier rather than later pieces. The lateral center panel motifs are outlined with light red:

http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/eren_b.jpg

But the Ersari "star" major border is - in my mind - a later feature:

http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/eren_c.jpg



The colors look good to me, although one could make an argument that the yellow may be a synthetic. The relatively brighter red in the diagonal corners around the stars on the major borders doesn't scare me, but could also be synthetic. Dick Parsons, in a note, commented that it was common for the Turkmen of means to use a light madder red on white or ivory wool, which made a bright but still entirely vegetal red.

http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/eren_d.jpg



http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/eren_e.jpg


Here is a closeup of the back:

http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/eren_f.jpg


Questions I would like to pose are:

Does anyone have more knowledge than I (not a difficult hurdle) regarding the blocky red and white reciprocal "s" border ?

Does anyone have any guesstimates they would care to offer as to which quarter of which century they feel this pieces belongs to ?

Regards
Chuck

Chuck Wagner September 17th, 2017 08:30 PM

Hi

Reviewing both my own copy of ORR, and the Christie's website, I am unable to find any more information on the ensi from Louis' thread, from the September 11 1990 sale of pieces from the Meyer-Muller collection.

Regards
Chuck

kabinsons1 October 10th, 2017 01:46 PM

Hi,
The design of rugs what is mentioned in the thread is very sensitive and beautiful. The picture of the rugs are very pretty and the quality are so e:felix:ffected.
Thanks

kabinsons1 October 11th, 2017 02:23 PM

Quote:

An Ersari (?) Ensi with some interesting motifs
Greetings all

Several years ago (2006) Louis Dubreuil put together an interesting discussion thread on what he thought might be an Uzbek ensi salon, and followed up a couple years later with a Salon discussing the use of the kush motif on ensis.

Links:
http://www.turkotek.com/misc_00039/uzbek_ensi.htm

http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00130/salon.html

Withing the Salon he went into great detail, which I won't try to repeat here - but - I will note that specifics on the type of kush motif on my ensi (below )were sparse. In his earlier discussion, he had identified a couple other pieces that fall into the same general class as this ensi, based on the kush elements and the guard borders:

This example is from Louis' thread is from ORR vol 10, # 6, aug/sept 1990, and is the closest to mine:



I find the nature of the motifs on my piece, and their rendering, to be out of step with my perceptions of size vs. age for ensis. This piece is large for a Turkmen ensi at 81.5 in (207 cm) X 70 in.(178 cm). Yomut pieces are often this large, Tekke generally smaller. Most of the older ensis that I am familiar with (including the animal-tree ensi in the main article) are significantly smaller.

Here are a few images and related comments:

Note that in the center field panels, each panel holds a single kush element, with lots of open space, a characteristic I associate with earlier rather than later pieces. Also note that the kush motif has the birds head style rather than the generally later candelabra style:




Also note that the center panel border and guard border motifs are also typically associated with earlier rather than later pieces. The lateral center panel motifs are outlined with light red:



But the Ersari "start" major border is - in my mind - a later feature:





The colors look good to me, although one could make an argument that the yellow may be a synthetic. The relatively brighter red in the diagonal corners around the stars on the major borders doesn't scare me, but could also be synthetic. Dick Parsons, in a note, commented that it was common for the Turkmen of means to use a light madder red on white or ivory wool, which made a bright but still entirely vegetal red.








Here is a closeup of the back:




Questions I would like to pose are:

Does anyone have more knowledge than I (not a difficult hurdle) regarding the blocky red and white reciprocal "s" border ?

Does anyone have any guesstimates they would care to offer as to which quarter of which century they feel this pieces belongs to ?

Regards
Chuck

It seems outstanding to me.

kabinsons1 October 12th, 2017 11:16 AM

Quote:

I find the nature of the motifs on my piece, and their rendering, to be out of step with my perceptions of size vs. age for ensis. This piece is large for a Turkmen ensi at 81.5 in (207 cm) X 70 in.(178 cm). Yomut pieces are often this large, Tekke generally smaller. Most of the older ensis that I am familiar with (including the animal-tree ensi in the main article) are significantly smaller.
This one is perfect in size but I am not familiar with the large one.

Steve Price October 12th, 2017 12:19 PM

Hi Kabinsons1

I guess you didn't receive the email message I sent you yesterday. It was letting you know that we don't permit the use of pseudonyms on our forums, and asked that you send me (sprice@vcu.edu) your full name so I can make that your user name.

Please do that before posting again.

Thanks.

Steve Price

Martin Andersen November 5th, 2017 07:28 PM

Hi Chuck

I suppose you know that Ensis already turn up in western commercials in late 19th, so it is rather fair to think they have been produced to the western marked from there on. In guessing age of the rugs I am sure your own guess would be at least as good as mine. And age of course isn’t everything, your Ensi looks totally lovely both in quality of wool, color and design.

Is it reminiscent of flatweave endings in the top right corner of your Ensi? If so that would bode for some extra age in my book.

https://i.imgur.com/KLE059F.jpg

The Hecksher Ensi looks rather related to the design of your Ensi. Personally it to me looks like one of the oldest Ersari Ensi’s I have seen (and when I say "seen" it just seen on the internet). 152 x 132 cm, Info is here (as i remember it has been James Allen’s so he would know more:)) https://www.learner.org/courses/glob...254/index.html

https://i.imgur.com/hB0YGB1.jpg

Here a few others which also looks related, I would say all younger than the Hecksher Ensi. Sorry dont have measurements on them, but they to me looks around same size as the Hecksher:

https://i.imgur.com/HIZgvPM.jpg

And this one a bit different but according to Jürgh Rageth an Ersari with serious age 18th early 19th (must admit It doesn’t really looks like that to me, but I sure respect Rageth’s authority in this). Its no. 35 from “Turkmen Carpets, A New Perspective” Size 179 × 129 cm.

https://i.imgur.com/b2059zD.jpg

Rageth also has a rather astonishing new interpretation of the Kush motif, if one goes along with it then it’s goodbye to “birds” - and hallo to “raised arms” :) He sees the Kush motif as having an origin in Mesopotamian throne motifs, and makes a rather good argument around it (not quite sure if I buy into it yet, but must admit it slowly grows on me)

Best
Martin

Martin Andersen November 5th, 2017 08:10 PM

Might be a side topic, but another interesting feature in your Ensi is that it has the Peikam border as minor border. I would say it is no coincidence, in a strange way it belongs there. To me this group of Ensis represent parts of a very interesting design development puzzle (which probably predates all the Ensi here with a minimum of couple of centuries). Here your borders on the left - and on the right :)

https://i.imgur.com/OQhDxr9.jpg

Best
Martin

Martin Andersen November 5th, 2017 08:25 PM

Regarding the red and white reciprocal "s" borders I would say they are stylized curled leaf borders, perhaps one could see a parallel stylization on this Salor in the realation between horizontal and vertical versions of curled leaf and s-borders

https://i.imgur.com/cekGdWT.jpg

Rich Larkin November 5th, 2017 10:55 PM

Hi Chuck,

Tough act to follow there with Martin's posts. I won't try to embellish any of that commentary. Anyway, if
  • the last image posted is 18th Century, and
  • the kush motif is raised arms, not birds,
I got off the bus at the wrong stop. :baffled:

I will say something about your ensi. Based on the size, the mustard-y yellow, and subtle other factors relating finish, I would be inclined to place it later rather than earlier. Not necessarily very late, though. I agree with Martin the plainweave flat end finish (if it had that) argues for greater age. After 1900, I would think. Though I agree open space around designs generally supports greater age, I am not so sure the generous space around the kush motifs exemplifies the principle. I am more inclined to see the space as a function of the relatively great width and the weaver's decision to stick with a single kush device in each panel.

Regarding that yellow, I think it appears in a wide range of woven products from the greater Afghanistan area at some historical point. I won't attempt to identify the time it happened. I don't necessarily consider it synthetic, either. My understanding is there are many ways and natural sources for yellow. I think it is very possible the mustard shade of the color became widely available from some popular dyeing center in the region somewhere along the line, resulting in its appearance in many rugs. That rationale doesn't necessitate a conclusion of synthetic process in my opinion.

Rich

Martin Andersen November 6th, 2017 12:10 AM

Hi Rich

Sorry I know it was a bit unfair just dropping the single point of Rageth´s regarding the Kush motif, see it as a recommendation for a read of his book. I would have been thrown of the bus too if I hadn't read it.
Rageth´s argument is very fascinating - and I suppose it´s okay to say totally speculative, but very rationel. And it is the first time I see a coherent attempt of interpreting the sum of all the design elements of the Ensi in relation to its possible representational function. I am a fan even though I dont agree with all of his writing (yet:)). Here some of his illustrations to the argument:

https://i.imgur.com/CxpgV8R.jpg

The whole book is for free download here http://www.turkmencarpets.ch The Ensi chapter is in volume two, page 323

Best Martin

Martin Andersen November 6th, 2017 10:45 AM

This Kirghiz ceremonial yurt and its “canopy” could/should perhaps have been a part of Rageth´s argument :) It does somehow sustains that the idea of a "baldachin-yurtdoor-rug" may have been a part of ceremonial decorations surrounding the yurt entrance in the time of the rug weaving people of our interesse. Shortly put it is the the relation between representational tent, baldachin and throne (sitting-position) which Rageth sees as having been stylized into the format of the Ensi.

https://i.imgur.com/OEUkkE1.jpg

best Martin

Rich Larkin November 6th, 2017 02:21 PM

Hi Martin,

Thanks for posting those illustrations. I understand why you find Rageth's ideas about the ensi compelling. A bit far-fetched, it seems, yet ingenious as well. And, as you say, it takes all of the elements of that rather odd layout into account.

The one that got me was Fig. 56, all those chaps with arms in the air. They must have been extremely tired by the end of that ceremony. :wizard:

On the larger issue, we will have to wait for an especially early ensi to surface with more anthropomorphic candelabra.

Rich

Martin Andersen November 6th, 2017 02:27 PM

I agree, a head (or even a dot) in-between the arms of the Kush motif would do wonders :wizard: :)
best Martin

(and this one unfortunately won't quite do it, it would have to be earlier and less funny :))
https://i.imgur.com/W880mXW.jpg

Chuck Wagner November 6th, 2017 04:08 PM

Hi Martin, Rich,

I will catch up with comments this evening. But for now, here's a better image of the motif on my ensi:

http://www.turkotek.com/mini_salon_00032/kushdet.jpg

Regards
Chuck

Rich Larkin November 6th, 2017 09:48 PM

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for that view. It has a nice look about it, head-on. I can almost hear those bird-heads squawking.

Of course, it is always possible that the weavers themselves lost track of the origins of their own motifs somewhere along the line, then backtracked to a bogus interpretation, just the way we do it. That business of 28 peons holding the platform in the air would be a difficult notion for successive generations of rustic weavers to hang onto. Then, if you estimate the weight of some of that stuff on the platform and do the math...well, it scares the heck out of me even to think about it. :eek:

Rich

Chuck Wagner November 7th, 2017 06:44 AM

Hi Rich,

Here's an example of the variability of the kush motif on a single piece; with several individual "heads" having closed loops similar to those on mine - the weaver just didn't leave space between the head and the feather.

I agree that weavers lose track over time, but also, over the time required to construct a single piece...:cheers:

https://images.skinnerinc.com/full/479/1069479.jpg

Regards
Chuck

Martin Andersen November 8th, 2017 07:39 AM

Hi Chuck and Rich

I totally agree in seeing animals/birds in these beautiful Kush motifs.

But to be fair to Rageths argument it is the Salor Kush motif which is his offset. In the totality of his large scale “New perspective” argument he sees the Salor as the most important weaving group having an identity as the “Royal” tribe, an identity passed on directly from the Sogdians. I know, highly speculative but sustained also by some interesting linguistic points. And the representation of probably highly stylized human figures may easily have been transformed to birds perhaps under influence by Islam. Interpreting the Kush motif as birds I suppose solely hangs on their heads (and two of them - with no wings). And a few knots shifting place here and there in similar turkmen animal heads can make our different current interpretations shift from flowers to goats to dogs to birds and even to candelabras :)

Well, Raght's argument of course have the weakness of hanging on almost a millennium of lost rugs, but I still find it very interesting because it ambitiously aims towards a coherent and rational interpretation of historical context, rug, tent and representation instead of solely focusing on a isolated rug-motif. On the other hand of course our pleasure and appreciation of the rugs is based on all the minuscule variations in the details of both texture, patterns and motifs.

best Martin

Chuck Wagner November 19th, 2017 07:10 PM

Martin,

Rageth's opinion is at least based on some research and interpretation of evidence. I am still wading through his tome and haven't drawn any conclusions on his assertions. I will say that the rendering by the weavers - of some of the animal heads - are sufficiently detailed to cause me to disregard the raised arm thesis for those pieces.

But IMHO the kush motif, should really be referred to as the kush class of motifs, and I think that the differences in the renderings may have meant a lot more to the weavers than they do to us.

I hope I can find some more documentary information on the peikam border; that is something that I'd like to discuss further - but I have little understanding so far.

Regards
Chuck


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