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Old July 25th, 2018, 03:40 PM   #23
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 128

Hi Joy,

I tend to check publication date of whatever rug book I'm reading because times change and what's desirable in one period can fade in another.
The subject of books about rugs is a whole magilla all by itself. If you continue your interest in rugs and to read the books, you really should read Chapter XIII of a volume entitled Persian Miniatures by H. G. Dwight, published in 1918 [!]. It can be read online at this link:


The chapter begins at page 196. The fact is that the literature on oriental rugs over the years has in many respects been very uneven in quality, and Dwight was onto it way back then. He skewers the field pretty much without mercy, and sometimes hilariously.

Since 1918, it has been a case of, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Although there have been many valuable contributions to the literature, it has remained true that virtually all of it has to be taken with a grain of salt. In my opinion, the next conspicuous revelation about the literature after Dwight's effort was that of Murray L. Eiland, M. D., Oriental Rugs, a Complete Guide, first published about 1973, with several subsequent updates. Among Eiland's strengths as a commentator on rugs was that he took virtually nothing for granted, whereas much of the literature recycled the mistakes of earlier literature. In the process, Eiland spotlighted much of the erroneous 'information' that ran through the field.

The inadequacy of rug literature as a whole can be attributed in part to the complexity of the subject together with the difficulty of acquiring good basic information. It might surprise you, for example, to know that many of the rugs that pass through sites like Turkotek, bearing names that are regularly assigned to them, such as "Baluch," cannot actually be proven to have been woven by people who would have carried that ethnic designation. (I am referring mostly to rugs that are typically a hundred years old, give or take about a half century.)

I am posting this to you so you can pursue your reading (which is inevitable and necessary) with the right degree of care.

Rich Larkin is offline