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Old August 27th, 2016, 03:50 PM   #2
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 158

Hi Patrick,

Wow. Plenty to say/ask about this one.

1. I really like the look of it. If I'd seen it on ebay, you'd have had more competition.

2. Must put up these images for your comparison, though the similarity may be used up once you get past the chestnut brown and a few other colors. There is a little pale to mid green in there, not unlike yours, that doesn't appear very prominently in the images

I have the (partial) runner tagged as "Serab," though that's mostly a placeholder until I find out what it is (about 35-40 years and still loooking). The name works better for mine on account of the plain wide edges than it does for your piece. The design elements between yours and mine don't have too much in common.

3. I might speculate that your piece represents a "post-manufacture" manufactured khorjin, whereby some jobber takes a nice plush hunk out of a larger fragment, sews on some good-looking sides and ends, and pretends it's a bagface. I've seen many, probably you have too. However, the dual columns of blue/yellow dots/knots on either side make that explanation dubious. Certainly, those two lines defined the original edges, or close to them. Another sinister possibility would be that the blue/yellow columns represent later repiling for forgery purposes [e. g., you can see some goofy repiling in process in my runner, above], but that doesn't really hold up, either. Plus, the pile there doesn't look non-original to my eye. So, the original piece was not much wider than 16 inches.

4. I take it the end pieces, turned ninety degrees, have been attached by sewing to the body of the thing; and that what was originally dark brownish weft has been fringed out to look like warp ends. Can you tell what the actual warps look like? Also, can you tell whether the other ends of the (former) wefts in the little end strips, where they attach to the body of the piece, were cut? If your idea is accurate that the end strips were formerly the selvages, cut off for end duty, one might expect one side of the strip to show intact wefts making the turn at the edge.

5. BTW, if those end strips had formerly been selvages next to the blue/yellow stripes, would the original piece have looked weird with two of those dotted lines in different colors side by side? (Or with the two said lines flanking the single red stripe you say lies under the selvage wrapping?) Alternatively, maybe the end strips came from a companion bag, and the one was cannibalized to create this one...a veritable Frankenstein of khorjin faces! Maybe the camp dog ripped up the one, and what else could they do?

6. On a different tack, you noted how the boteh aren't clearly defined by a drawn line, but rather with larger components arranged to provide the shape of a boteh; and that the fact creates an interesting effect at the top where the tell-tale tilted tops (alliteration intended) of the boteh are missing. Right! I did a quick tour of Boteh Land and realized that the device in general can be viewed in a continuum from sharply defined to very lumpy. Interesting, and the best news about it is, I'm not going to get into it. But I'm sure somebody whose name begins with "J" can and will supply a few examples drawn like yours.

In sum, very interesting piece, and a real good looker, notwithstanding the sketchy approach to the ends. I certainly would call it "NW Persian, possibly Kurdish," speaking of usual suspects. My advice is, love it!

Any possibility of getting a look at the back?


Last edited by Rich Larkin; August 27th, 2016 at 04:08 PM.
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