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Old July 1st, 2018, 05:27 PM   #10
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 128

Hi Joy,

Not to beat this into the ground (), but here is another comment that relates to what you were told when you acquired the rug. Assuming the numbers are trying to be a date, there is a reading that can get you to about 1912.

The figure for '3' is most accurately drawn in the middle item in the right hand cartouche, with the three little vertical points off that upper part. (You can see it is slightly skewed in the corresponding version on the left side.) Meanwhile, the figure at the extreme right of each cartouche can be read as one of the two ways to write '4' in this script. Thus, '134'. But if one disregards the curved gizmo above each of the end figures as some kind of stray scribble, or something else illegible (not an uncommon phenomenon on this sort of thing, and the drawing of '4' isn't perfect), it is then possible to read that end figure as another '3'. That is, '133'.

As I mentioned earlier, Islamic calendars begin at 626 M. E. As a rule of thumb for use when encountering dated rugs, I have noted that 1300 in the Islamic system, using lunar years (354 days), lands in 1882 by the so-called Gregorian calendar. Thus, for the vast majority of 'dated' rugs encountered by the average rug enthusiast (i. e., nineteenth century), it is a simple matter to do a little math and get close to the putative year. (For "putative," go to "maven" in the dictionary, then skip ahead three letters. It is somewhere in there. ) So, if your cartouches really contain '133', meaning 1330, you could add the thirty years to 1882, and it gets you to 1912.

Now, the truth is, if all that were true, the intervening thirty Islamic years between 1882 and the date when your rug was woven add up to only about twenty-nine years on the western calendar, because the former years lose eleven days annually. So, you might be able to squeeze 1911 out of the deal. Since every ruggie I have ever met is desperate to make his/her rug as old as possible, you might want to consider it.

If you have followed all of this, you may have gained some insight into how insidiously dangerous this hobby can be.


Last edited by Rich Larkin; July 1st, 2018 at 05:57 PM.
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