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. Uncommon Tekke Germech or Torba? - 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 January 10th, 2018, 04:03 PM   #1
Alexander Bakker
Members
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Default Uncommon Tekke Germech or Torba?

Dear Turkoteks, I recently acquired a small Tekke rug which puts some questions to me. I've handled quite a few Turkmen pieces, but this one doesn't open up. So any help is welcome. My feeling is it is rare and old, but I may be mistaken. I'd like to draw attention to these points.

1. Drawing. The guls are different from other Tekke guls I've seen. The middle is 'thin', and the orientation of the arms is outward, instead of gripping inward. Viewed in dark conditions, they remind me of stylized Herati motifs, which James Opie opinions as the source of all Turkmen gulls. The drawing seems indicative of considerable age.

2. Patination. The wool is extremely patinated. Despite several careful and meticulous washings, the white wool remains yellow. The colors are still vibrant and sparkle.

3. Knots. The knots are extremely small and square. There are several techniques used, with knots open to the left and right (depending on color), giving the piece a somewhat patchy appearance.

4. Wefts. The wefts are extremely thin, like threads.

5. Use. The piece never seems to have been used as a bag, judging from the way the kilim at the back has been finished. The finishing (loose knots) at the underside is also unexpected in a bag. Could this have been a Germech?

Any thoughts and opinions are very welcome, I'm very interested. Kind regards, Alexander












Last edited by Filiberto Boncompagni2; January 10th, 2018 at 05:03 PM.
Alexander Bakker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2018, 05:09 PM   #2
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 145
Default

Hi Alexander,

Very interesting. Can you point out specific instances where the alternating (open right or open left) character of the knots is illustrated? I would think the third and sixth (last) images would be the site of such a demonstration. I have some possible spots in mind, but I would like to have your guidance on it.

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2018, 05:27 PM   #3
Alexander Bakker
Members
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Dear Rich, thank you for your reply. As it is dark now over here (Holland), I'll post some photo's tomorrow when I can take them in daylight. I always have difficulty with these technical photo's, but I'll do my best. Much interested to know what you think, I saw in Tsareva on the Kingston collection that these knotting ideosynchrasies are diagnostic for her. Kind regards Alexander
Alexander Bakker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2018, 06:40 PM   #4
Steve Price
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 81
Default

Hi Alexander

My guess is that it's a torba face. The end at the bottom looks like it was sewn to prevent further loss of pile and weft, a fairly common practice. The turned under plainweave at the top is the usual finish for the open side of a torba. The original sides and part of the bottom are missing.

Steve Price
Steve Price is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2018, 08:15 PM   #5
Marvin Amstey
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fairport, NY
Posts: 27
Default

The yellowed ivory is probably from exposure to smoke for a lot of years, as from a kerosene lamp.
I have never seen open-right and open-left knots in the same piece.
I agree with Steve about its use.
It is definitely not a germach as i know them; i.e. borders on top, right and left only.
Best
Marvin

Last edited by Marvin Amstey; January 10th, 2018 at 08:21 PM.
Marvin Amstey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2018, 05:30 PM   #6
Alexander Bakker
Members
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Hi all, thanks for your contributions.

The yellowing from soot is an interesting option but it would affect all colors, not only the white. With soot I wouldn't expect the other colors to be so vibrant. So in my opinion the yellowing is patination, indicating age.

The definition of a Germech is instructive (borders on three sides) but Rippon Boswell has also auctioned small torba-like pieces with four borders as Germech. See this example: https://www.rippon-boswell-wiesbaden...4&w=0&limit=10. If the link doesn't work: enter 'tekke germech' in their archive as search query, and it's the first one popping up. Rippon Boswell's word isn't gospel, but in my experience they're very knowledgeable and conservative in their attributions. It won't influence my enjoyment of the piece whether it is a germech or torba, but it's a strange one and I'm looking for clues as to age and design.

Some more photo's are coming up. The blue knots are open to the right, the red knots open to the left. Extremely small knots, so difficult to see.

Also I've taken a photo of the finishing at the lower end, which consists of single large knots. This seems decorative and original, opening up the question if the underside has been reduced or if this is the original finishing - I am inclined to accept the latter.

Does anyone have any comments on the drawing and shape of the guls? I'd be much interested in educated guesses about age, and pointers concerning this.

Thanks again, Alexander










Last edited by Filiberto Boncompagni2; January 11th, 2018 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added [img][/img] and a missing / to the links
Alexander Bakker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2018, 05:42 PM   #7
Ken Shum
Members
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 10
Default

Alex,

Take damp white cotton rag, wipe over the colored areas and you get idea if it is soot/dirt.

Ken
Ken Shum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2018, 05:50 PM   #8
Alexander Bakker
Members
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Hi Ken, I'm one of those guys who enjoys washing - the piece has been washed twice, with mild natural soap and is spotlessly clean.
Alexander Bakker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2018, 08:01 PM   #9
Ken Shum
Members
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 10
Default

I'm sorry, I missed that in your original post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Bakker View Post
Hi Ken, I'm one of those guys who enjoys washing - the piece has been washed twice, with mild natural soap and is spotlessly clean.
Ken Shum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2018, 02:43 PM   #10
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 145
Default

Hi Alexander,

I am having trouble interpreting your images. Not your fault: the depth of the blue in particular makes it difficult to distinguish the details we need; and the fineness of the weave even at the scales of your shots furthers the problem.

Just to be sure we are on the same wave length, I want to note that most or all of your images are 'upside down' in terms of the attitude of the rug when it was on the loom, and in terms of the orientation rug analysts use when they speak of open 'left' or 'right.' The last image in each of your picture groups illustrates it best. Those large finishing knots along the bottom are symmetrical, and the the pile of each one is projecting upwards from the knot collar in the picture. But the pile was projecting downwards when the rug was being woven.

That said, I note the first image in your latest set of images. There, just between your thumb and finger, the pile that appears to be projecting from the knot collars of that red row is upwards, and if you rotate the image 180° for proper orientation, it appears clearly to be open left. So, it seems you have it right with the red. But I can't quite make out what is going on with the blue.

What I would like to see (I am not necessarily asking you to do it...) is a shot of the area of your last image in the set you posted first, from the same angle and direction; but closer, and with slightly less exposure in order to allow the details of the blue to be discerned (I think ). And maybe more light on that blue. An annoying mandate, I realize. The point is to get a section with enough wear to expose the collars but not so much as to eliminate the tufts; and to have enough colors accounted for (including the [smoky] ecru!) to give the necessary overview. BTW, looking at the images you have up now, including the two similar ones at the end of each set (i. e., the area I just suggested for still another image), I can't quite make up my mind whether the white is OL or OR.

If it turns out you are right, I think it is the first instance I have heard of with this kind of systematic alternation of different colors in a rug. I have heard of the occasional instance of mixed knotting in a rug that appeared to reflect different weavers who had learned their basic skills differently.

BTW2, I would not dismiss the smoke theory of the 'yellowed' white wool too readily. I think the effect is just less noticeable on other colors.

All very interesting!

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2018, 07:25 PM   #11
Alex Wolfson
Members
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
Default

Hi Alex,

That is an interesting piece!

I'm interested in the comparison with the RB germech-type items. Judging only on the pictures, yours would appear to have more in common structurally with the first two. The last one seems rather different in this regard.

So my wider question is: what points specifically to a Tekke attribution? The structure seems to be at some variance to that found on the 'classic' 6-gul torbas, for example. Are we looking at the work perhaps of another subset of Tekke weavers?

Best,
Alex
Alex Wolfson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2018, 11:44 PM   #12
Joel Greifinger
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 71
Default Size?

Hi Alexander,

Pardon me if I missed this detail, but could you give the dimensions of your piece?

Joel Greifinger
Joel Greifinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13th, 2018, 06:26 AM   #13
Patrick Weiler
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 34
Default Adding it all up

Alexander,

It looks to me like that bottom section has been tacked on. The way that strip goes all the way across, and the picture of the back that looks like an uneven attachment job. That certainly could account for some of the irregularities of the piece. I have a small Baluch bag face that is smoked and no amount of soap and elbow grease will release that yellowing from the wool, and it is not just the whites, but the whole piece. It is a very small subset of pieces with this condition, but they all seem to have the same feature, so there must be a similar cause. But kerosene smoke or even coal or wood smoke or even cigarette or pipe smoke would have affected way more than the small number we see today, though many may have been discarded because of it, though I don't find that likely. It may have been some chemical in a cleaning process, because to "set" the stain it would take submersion rather than smoke settling on the surface. It is hard to tell from the pictures, because some of the whites look white, which would be even more curious!

Patrick Weiler
Patrick Weiler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2018, 04:24 PM   #14
Alexander Bakker
Members
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Default Geeting closer to the solution

Dear all,

Thank you for your contributions. Most of them hold up on closer inspection of the piece.

The photographs are indeed upside down. My mistake. I am so used to seeing Turkmen pieces with an elem, that I took the top (with elem like design) for the bottom. This makes the piece even stranger, as the decorative knots are now at the top and the short striped end is the bottom.

The piece is definitely one weave, no tacking on.

I will try making more detailed photo's, but the problem may be the limited resolution (600 x 600 ) to which Turkotek can go. If this turns out to abet the problem, I will ask Rich for his email address and mail the full sized files to him for inspection.

Now the piece is in it's proper position, and the light strikes it as it should, it has a distinct kipperish hue. So I would accept the 'smoked' hypothesis.

Now for the attribution - Tekke because of the shape of the gols. Rippon Boswell auctioned a piece with virtually identical design, also as finely knotted, only different material (pink silk, white cotton). See https://www.rippon-boswell-wiesbaden...4&w=0&limit=10. Lot number A78/86. If the link does not work: query "tekke torba", select "estimate descending", nr. 7 (check against lot number). Rippon dates it to first half 19th century. My feeling is my piece is earlier because the arms of the gols are even more outstretched.

Size - I'll post that with the additional photo's, but it's a small piece, around 23,6 x 9,8, same as the Rippon piece.

Looking forward to your ideas, photo's and measurements coming up.

Kind regards Alexander
Alexander Bakker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2018, 11:33 PM   #15
Rich Larkin
Members
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 145
Default

Hi Alexander,

Both Steve and Filiberto have my email address. I don't particularly care to put it into the pages of T'Tek, but they should feel free to make it available to you. I am very interested to get a good look at the images.

Rich
Rich Larkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2018, 08:35 AM   #16
Filiberto Boncompagni
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 82
Default

Hi Rich,

Done, through the ‘Send a private message’ function, accessible by clicking on the member’s name… It should be available to every registered member, I think.

You see, as an administrator my mystical powers give me access to more functions. I’ll have to check the registered members’ board permission to be sure.
Regards,

Filiberto
Filiberto Boncompagni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2018, 08:38 AM   #17
Martin Andersen
Members
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 56
Default

Hi Alexander

It’s very a nice Torba, it sure has aesthetic qualities.
I don’t think it could go for a Germetch, I think It would have to have a design in both borders and field which could be paired with an Ensi + perhaps special weave in top and bottom.

I know from experience it can be a bit annoying if others don’t see age as oneself, and I might be wrong in this, but I think conventionally viewed your Torba would be guesstimated last qvarter 19th. This on account of the borders, general layout and to me the colors also doesn’t look terrible old (totally subjective, the rugs colors in photos are a nightmare).
It is the outer border and the small horisontal triangular filling border (sorry forgot its name) I think are often seen on last quarter (and later) 19th Tekke pieces.



Regarding the Guls in the “Aina Gul” layout (which I suppose is the term for the field layout, as far as I understand there are kind of 3 different versions of the layout in center of the Aina Gul layout). I doubt the “outstretched arms” could merit more age, probably more the other way around if one goes along the convention of compression of designs.

Here some samples other samples of comparable Tekke Aina Gul Torbas and Chuvals which i would think mid 19th. :



But of course all age-guestimates in this are - guesstimates. And I suppose its kind up to all of us to build up some kind of subjective range of how we see age, and keep in mind that it is sketchy, and that sellers, including auction houses, tend to be very optimistic in their guesstimates.

Enjoy your Torba, I really think it is beautiful. And personally I sure don’t think one should discharge last qvarter 19th turkmen pieces they are antiques - and will also be terrible rare in times to come, especially if no-one saves them. Here my own Tekke Germetch last quarter 19th. (can’t lie would have liked it not to have bleeding and tip fading orange/red ) The Sainak border going around on all 4 sides, but I still take the liberty of thinking of it as a Germetch.



All the best
Martin

Last edited by Martin Andersen; January 16th, 2018 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Germetch definition could maybe be a topic in itself (with or without the "t" in Germetch :) )
Martin Andersen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2018, 05:49 PM   #18
Alexander Bakker
Members
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Dear all,

Thank you for your interesting posts. And apologies for the delay in replying - I have a business to run and a three year old son who clamors for my attention.

The comparative photo display was extremely instructive - thanks Martin. As we have relayed the yellowed white to the land of smoke, I don't have other clues to go on as age is concerned - apart from the drawing. This has been succinctly put in it's proper age by Martin's comparative analyses. So I'll gladly accept a 4th quarter 19th century dating.

The only mystery which remains is the knotting at right angles to each other. I've sent Rich fresh photo's by email and am very interested to hear what he has to say.

I must say this post is shaping into a very instructive one! Thanks all.

Kind regards Alexander
Alexander Bakker 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 01:09 PM.


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