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Old October 23rd, 2016, 04:29 PM   #4
Filiberto Boncompagni2
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 21

OK. Geography.

So, let’s start with city carpets. Take one of those Persian city rugs like a Kerman, Tabriz or any other city where they have a century-long tradition in making luxury carpets in workshops with designs copied by cartoons by highly skilled weavers.

A modern, high quality Tabriz is not a reproduction, it's just a modern Tabiriz.

If, let’s say, it’s a Chinese copy, instead, I would call it a reproduction.

If the copy is made in China with the intent to deceive (same weave, side finishing etc. like a real Tabriz) and sold under the Tabriz label I would call it a fake.

So far so good. Things go muddled with your modern prayer rugs, the one made in Caucasus and the other made in Turkey, though.

Ethnically, the one made in Caucasus would be legitimately called Caucasian.
Or not?
Well, if we consider that the Caucasian population is formed by more than 50 ethnic groups end most of the time we are unable to identify which one wove what, I would say that the “authenticity” of Caucasian stuff resides more in the adherence to the lovely weaving (and interweaving) tradition that developed during the centuries in that land.

It must be also mentioned that in the Caucasus the REAL weaving tradition concerned much more flat-weaves than piled carpet. The latter had a strong commercial expansion under the Russians at the end of the 19th century and was somehow edulcorated by governmental sponsored programs (the Kustar) carried out also later by the Soviets.

Kustar notwithstanding, IMHO, in its golden age the Caucasian cottage rug production managed to reach high results. Unfortunately the weaving tradition declined sharply in the second part of the last century together with the previous spontaneity and creativity that was present even when the weavers copied the Kustar’s cartoons.

In Turkey (again IMHO) it seems the weaving tradition survived a little better, and ethnographically speaking, they share some groups with the Caucasus. In few regions they make rugs very similar to Caucasians too. According to “rumors” there is in Turkey a current production of fake and artificially aged Caucasians that are indistinguishable from the real items, even for experts.

Your Anatolian copy (yes, I call it a copy) is very good, perhaps better than the Caucasian modern rug, a little stiff IMHO. Would I call the latter (the one in the first photo) a copy? Mmmh!
Perhaps a “modern Caucasian reproduction”. Yes, because I think it's an almost exact reproduction of a specific rug I think I saw in Kaffell’s book on Caucasian prayer rugs (cannot check now, I am not at home). And, of course, geographically it's Caucasian.

So, what about that modern Tabriz? It’s not a reproduction as well? Yes, but all city rugs are supposed to be reproductions of cartoons. Caucasians are more, let’s say, “interpretation ” or variations on the theme.

As I said, things go muddled…

I have to stop here for lack of time – but I would call the Beluch as such, out of habit perhaps. Let’s wait for the opinion of others.
Filiberto Boncompagni

Last edited by Filiberto Boncompagni2; October 23rd, 2016 at 08:43 PM.
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