Welcome to TurkoTek's Discussion Forums

Archived Salons and Selected Discussions can be accessed by clicking on those words, or you can return to the Turkotek Home Page. Our forums are easy to use, and you are welcome to read and post messages without registering. However, registration will enable a number of features that make the software more flexible and convenient for you, and you need not provide any information except your name (which is required even if you post without being registered). Please use your full name. We do not permit posting anonymously or under a pseudonym, ad hominem remarks, commercial promotion, comments bearing on the value of any item currently on the market or on the reputation of any seller. A sad case of a beautiful runner- Karaja ? - Turkotek Discussion Forums


Go Back   Turkotek Discussion Forums > Virtual Show and Tell

Virtual Show and Tell Just what the title says it is.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old September 5th, 2018, 02:48 PM   #1
Andrew Leng
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 6
Default A sad case of a beautiful runner- Karaja ?










This is a bit of a sad case. I guess both the rug and myself for falling for the colours, wool quality and design and buying it. We came across it years ago and not being in the stratospheric market for the perfect examples from Ripon and Boswell etc. as illustrated in Joels link, bought it.
http://www.azerbaijanrugs.com/guide/...gs_carpets.htm

How a rug with so much pile came to require such drastic treatment is puzzeling.

It has a symmetrical knot




brown wool warp (ply?) and three fine cotton wefts. Making it quite soft. To my uneducated eye the cotton looks machine spun.




Rienhard G Hubel in The Book of Carpets 1964 ref” Karadja are made in Karadagh (black mountain) the frontier between Russia and Persia”.

He says cotton wefts were “introduced recently” (published in 1964) I don’t know his time scale. I bought them in the 70s. Manufactured cotton was introduced to the world long before he wrote. The black has had time to corrode considerably. The black edging lines have gone down; to the extent you can see the white warp in places along the side of the white minor border.



Any comment, Is it a Karaja? Any guide to the age?

Last edited by Andrew Leng; September 6th, 2018 at 04:33 AM.
Andrew Leng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2018, 03:03 PM   #2
Steve Price
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 106
Default

Hi Andrew

There are many reasons why rugs are cut - making them fit a particular space is the most common. The palette looks to me like the dyes are probably natural, and corrosive black dyes weren't used much beyond the first decade of the 20th century, so I'd guess that this is a 19th century piece.

I'll leave geographic attribution to people who are better at (and care more about) it than I am.

It's a very handsome rug, in my eyes.

Steve Price
Steve Price is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2018, 09:24 PM   #3
Joel Greifinger
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 50
Default Karadagh

Hi Andrew,

Probably whatever led to shortening your runner was also involved in deciding to remove the outer and lower minor border, as well.

These sorts of double-wefted runners (that have the stacked medallions also associated with Karaja) that are woven with wool warps, are usually categorized as Karadagh. Karajas are single-wefted and, other than the ones that were woven before the middle of the 19th century, have cotton foundations.

Here is a Karadagh runner that is from the Eilands' Oriental Carpets: A Complete Guide:



Whatever it's called, you've got a lovely fragment there.

Joel Greifinger
Joel Greifinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2018, 09:49 PM   #4
Joy Richards
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 53
Default

Hi Andrew,

Yes, it is beautiful and so sad, but the only reason I can think it would have been cut in that way is because something very drastic and irreparable happened to the middle bit that's missing. I see that the motifs on the cut edges do not match up, so why else would such carnage take place?!

Since I searched long and hard on the carpet that's under my Kurdish Kleptomania thread - which might be a Karaja - I will set out for you and for anybody else who's interested and doesn't have the books, what I found on Karaja and its many alternate spellings. In chronological order.

1. Oriental Rugs Murray Eiland Jr and III 1976

Page 93

KARADJA
The town of Karadja is situated off the Tabriz-Ahar road about 35 miles northeast of Tabriz. Along with several smaller villages, it has become identified with a particular type of rug. In the earliest pieces, the foundation was of wool, but it is now exclusively of cotton. The construction is distinguished by the use of a single weft shoot, giving the fabric an appearance similar to that of Hamadan village rugs. Although lighter in weight, these Karadja rugs are of about the same knot density as Hamadans and are symmetrically knotted. Many are in the runner format, and large Karadja carpets are rare. The colors are usually more subdued than those of Heriz rugs. Design remains an important diagnostic feature as nearly all Karadjas have the same basic types of medallions arranged along the vertical axis of the rug.
Clearly these were ultimately derived from the Harshang pattern, although their immediate source was possibly a variety of runner with similar medallions and particularly lustrous wool made during the first half of the nineteenth century. These prototypes, known as Karadagh rugs (see figure 24),



usually show a dark blue field, a striking use of white, and excellent clear colours. All wool, they are usually double wefted, which suggests that they were woven by different people from the weavers of the modern Karaja. Their name, Karadagh, refers to the region just south of the Araxes River, opposite the Karabagh region of the Caucasus. No doubt they were woven by villagers or small nomadic groups in this area, and the Karadja could be an adaptation of this type. Alternatively, the Karadja and the Karadagh could be adaptations of the same source.
Karadja rugs are not to be confused with those labeled “Karadje” or “Karadj.” “Karadje” is often used to label various types of Kurdish village weaves, while “Karadj” refers to a town near Tehran where rather coarse kilims were made.

2. Dictionary of Oriental Rugs 1977 by Ivan C. Neff & Carol V. Maggs:

Page 87
KARADAGH, see Qara Dagh Mountains
See Karaje


KARAJA (KARADJA) Persian
The Qara Dagh - black mountains - are situated in north-western Iran bordering on the USSR. Just south of these mountains in the Qara Dagh region is the village of Karaja, north-west of Heriz. From the environs of this village comes a double-wefted knotted fabric of distinctive design known as a Karaja. Structurally these rugs are different from both the Heriz and Tabriz rugs. Edwards referred to a single-wefted rug which he called Karaja but whether or not his reference was an error is not known. Single-wefted rugs are also produced in this area but they are not what we today call Karaja.

KARAJE
Some authorities have used the names 'Karadagh' and 'Karaje' to describe tribal rugs from north-western Iran that differ from the more commercially orientated Karajas. Those that use both names attempt to differentiate between them but an analysis of the points of difference do not support a distinction. Other authorities maintain that 'Karaja' and 'Karaje' are alternate spellings for the same name; yet others define a separate Kurdish weave from this area which they call a Karaje; and a few, either in desperation or discretion, ignore the names Karaja, Karaje and Karadagh altogether. But there is no doubt that single-wefted rugs with strong Caucasian design influences do come from the Qara Dagh region. Calling them Karaje may cause confusion with the Karajas; calling them all Kurdish may be ethnically incorrect and therefore Karadagh as a name of regional origin is to be preferred. See Ahmedabad.

AHMEDABAD (page 55)
Village in Iranian Azerbaijan which has given its name to a modern type of rug made in the area. These rugs are of the Karaje type.

3. Oriental Carpets Ulrich Schurmann 1979
Page 122
A characteristic of Karadjah carpets has always been a geometrication of the Persian line. The influence of the Caucasus has made itself felt. The carpet shown here is typical. The weeping willows at the foot of the prayer arch are finished off at right angles; the cypresses seem to be covered with hooks; the tree of life resembles a child's drawing of a Christmas tree. The central panel above the mihrab provides a sharp contrast with its pattern resembling the tiles of a Persian mosque. The plain border gives the stimulating pattern in the central panel a calm frame.
This rug is clear proof that even at the beginning of the 19th century, beautiful carpets were still being made in northern Persia.




4. Tribal and Village Rugs Peter F. Stone 2004
Page 272

Other Tribal and Village Motifs

Karadja is a town near Heriz. Weavers of this town and smaller villages in the immediate area use the same motifs. The weavers are of Turkish descent. Rugs of Karadagh, an area south of Caucasian Azerbaijan, carry the same motifs. These are probably earlier rugs than those of Karadja. Murray Eiland believes Karadja motifs derive from the Harshang pattern.

Stone then goes on to describe the following three motifs.



So Andrew, I don’t know if this makes it any easier for you to know where your rug came from, and it’s just confirmation for me that I don’t think I’ll EVER identify a rug with any authority or confidence. But from Murray Eiland’s description, to me it looks like your runner is definitely from the Karadja area, and as Steve says, it’s old.

Joy

PS I see Joel posted the same rug!!
Joy Richards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2018, 09:52 PM   #5
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 141
Default

Hi Andrew,

That is gorgeous! What color! I think you will find (structurally) that the number of weft passes between rows of knots varies throughout the rug. For example, that view at the top of your second image where the cut was made was a quadruple weft line. And the rug is plenty old.

If you have access to Charles W. Jacobsen, Oriental Rugs, a Complete Guide (1962), which can be found in many public libraries, look up the alphabetical section discussing many kinds of rugs (which takes up most of the book. He discusses "Karadagh" and "Karaja" as those terms were understood in the marketplace through the middle of the 20th century. "Karadagh" was the term applied to the higher end goods, and that is what you have.

Karaja, the town, is a very small place (near and west of Heriz), and its name has largely been applied to a certain 'commercial workshop' type of rug with a characteristic three medallion pattern in my opinion derived from these much more exciting rugs (yours) that were the paradigms for weavers in that territory. That is to say, the traditional design approach of the region turned intio the somewhat prosaic mid-twentieth century "Karaja."

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2018, 09:55 PM   #6
Joy Richards
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 53
Default

I've just looked at the colours on your rug again, and they are very close to the colours and brightness of my little Caucasian prayer rug.

Joy
Joy Richards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2018, 03:36 AM   #7
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 141
Default

Hi Joy,

Sorry, when I posted that insipid little take on Karaja, I didn't realize you had posted that very informative set of excerpts.

I guess the following clearly identifies me as a crank, but I find it annoying when authors whose purpose was to straighten out the rug literature that preceded them immediately proceed to make a bit of a hash of things themselves. In the case of the 'Karadja/Karaja/Karadagh' confusion, it is evident upon the perusal of a few of the books that the subject itself is mixed up, and I believe the explanations are simplistic. Beyond that, the similarity of the various names for districts or categories increases the confusion. It would help to allay the confusion if they would pay some attention to the task of transliteration of the names of the places from the local languages to English (or whatever target language they are working in).

In fact, the three places mentioned above are in an Azerbajaini language area, and the opening consonant for them is not "K", but a consonant that does not exist in English. Some writers use "K", and others "Q", to stand in English for the correct one. Eiland used "K", which would have been all right, but he does not distinguish the town near Teheran, in which he said coarse kilims were woven. But that town really does use the Persian equivalent of "K". (The Azerbaijani consonant mentioned above also appears in Farsi [hence, "Qashqa'i"], and Persian maps employ it when identifying locations in Azerbaijan.) So, to persons with some sense of the languages, the names of these locales are not so confusing, and pointing out the correct information by the authors of the books would be a help.

Neff and Maggs call the rugs "Karadagh," and the mountains "Qara Dagh." There is no legitimate basis for that, as they are essentially the same term. I suppose it is quibbling. In truth, they discuss in their introduction the difficulties encountered in making the right choices in transliteration, and it is a problem. But once you settle on a choice, stick with it. The field will never be 'clear', but no reason to make things worse.

BTW, they also wonder what Edwards was talking about in a single-wefted he called "Karaja." Meanwhile, I am wondering what they are talking about in a double-wefted rug of the same name. It is things like that which make me take their dictionary with a good amount of salt. As I said, "...a crank."

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2018, 02:13 PM   #8
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 141
Default

Hi Andrew,

Once again, congratulations for having had the good sense to land that beauty, fragment or not. I wonder what the local approach was among the weavers of that area as regards the dyeing of their wool. It seems obvious upon surveying a few pieces from that matrix that they were not just winging it from family to family, whether they were on the move with their animals, settled in villages, whatever. Clearly, there were master dyers at work, possibly on a centralized basis. In addition, as we have learned in the past here from Marla Mallett, the selection and handling of the fleeces was also an important factor for the end results.

Through my years of kicking rugs, I have observed that rugs with brilliant stained-glass color such as yours usually featured strikingly clear whites; and it would seem that circumstance was an important factor in the dyeing results for colors. In some cases, a particular such rug would show slight erosion of the white relative to some or all of the rest of the colors, suggesting that some sort of bleaching process had been applied to the undyed wool. I. e., the height of the pile of the white in relatively unworn sections was slightly lower in the white than in neighboring colors. I am wondering whether you can see any such effect in your fragment. I see in your last-posted image (the one with what looks to me like a shaman figure), there is observable erosion of the black, but the white looks to be right up there. How does it look up close in hand?

BTW, on the subject of why anyone would cut such a rug, I am inclined to agree with Joy that there must have been some serious casualty to the missing part. But as Steve suggested, anything is possible, and I would double those odds in the Middle East. I recall having encountered a rug in the souq in Riyadh many years ago that had been cut in half, from side to side right through the middle. It was a very finely woven, high-end urban Persian rug, maybe an older Kerman, about 5' X 7'. Someone had very roughly stitched the two parts together, not as a repair, but just enough to keep them from getting separated from one another. I asked the dealer, perhaps rhetorically, why anyone would have cut that rug. He had the answer. He said the owner was displaying it in his home together with an impressive piece of furniture, and the idea was to place the rug in two parts flanking the piece. I guess he thought it created a nice dramatic effect. Whatever floats your boat!

Rich

P. S.: Another factor worth noting in your frag is the refinement of the weave. It has multiple cotton wefts, possibly with some variation in numbers of shots between rows, and at least some rows with four separate shots of weft. Ordinarily, one would expect a rug with those stated structural characteristics to be coarse, and pretty rough and ready. But your piece is quite refined, owing to the proportions of the foundation materials and the care with which they were managed in the weaving.
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2018, 10:00 PM   #9
Andrew Leng
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 6
Default

Rich. Thanks for your comments

Re the wefts. My apologies when I posted the pic I did think Hmm. It is actually three wefts one is unfurling a bit. They are, compared to many rugs very fine and there are three throughout, no variation. An interesting take on this would be based on Saiwosch Azadi comments in his book, Azerbaijani-Caucasian Rugs, talking of USSR Caucasians where he says that when it arrived cotton was three times the price of wool. One can conceive of a quality rug maker seeing its advantages and using it, with a bit of status attached.

Re the white, I have just had a torch over it. It may be fractionally lower in some places, but not as bad as some I have seen. Like the Chinese rug I put up where the brown stands up well above the white.
Particularly where one of the medallions has white lines amongst blue, the white seems lower than the blue in some places. I had heard and seen where blue seems to be kind to wool and it stands up better, maybe they just don’t bleach the wool first.

Thanks to eveyone for thier comments
Andrew Leng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 12th, 2018, 02:32 AM   #10
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 141
Default

Hi Andrew,

I don’t mean to be contentious, but the second last image you posted in your opener (back view including a coin) clearly shows four distinct wefts running along the tops of a row of knots. Each shot of weft is in its own separate shed. I think there are quadruple wefts in other rows too.

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 12th, 2018, 09:51 PM   #11
Andrew Leng
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 6
Default

Rich, not contentious at all. That’s why I am here. I got the small half on my knee instead of me on my knees. With a torch and lens. Yes there are 4 ply wefts there. I thought it was just the cotton unravelling in the picture. There are plenty of cut ends along the side but they have fluffed up.
I will have a go in the sun.

I found this in my wanderings on the net.
Interesting research dated 2017, Quote:

Many handmade ancient and recent oriental wool carpets show outstanding brilliance and persistence of colour that is not achieved by common industrial dyeing procedures. Anthropologists have suggested the influence of wool fermentation prior to dyeing as key technique to achieve the high dyeing quality.

....we corroborate this view and show a deep and homogenous penetration of colourants into fermented wool fibres

wool fermentation prior to dyeing as key technique to achieve the high dyeing quality.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/scanning/2017/6346212/
Andrew Leng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2018, 03:50 AM   #12
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 141
Default

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the link to the Hindawi article. I haven't read it yet, but it looks interesting. Clearly, those Karadagh dyemasters were doing something masterful. Colors like that don't just roll out of the vat. I repeat: good move to snag that item!

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2018, 06:06 AM   #13
Pierre Galafassi
Members
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 82
Default

Hi guys,

This technique, which is still known by some traditional dyers, apparently does smooth the wool scales, thus influencing the light remission and therefore the brightness of the shades.
It is also called by some dyers «summer dyeing», because both the wool preparation and the dyeing itself are performed without any heating, in a container left exposed to the outside temperatures.
The processes take therefore several days each, during which a slow chemical process of ‘fermentation’ (the actual chemical reactions are still unclear, at least to me) takes place on the wool surface. The dyeing itself is often also more level (less abrash).

Manfred Bieber studied it. You will find his interesting description in Salon 134 http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00134/salon.html

regards
Pierre
Pierre Galafassi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.