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Old July 22nd, 2018, 08:18 PM   #1
Joy Richards
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Default Second Prayer Rug

I have apologised to Steve for going off at tangents in Caucasian Prayer Rug and Gerry, to you, for interfering in your Single Medallion thread, both of which seem to have now made their way into Baluch territory.

And in Tanavoli's Kings, Heroes and Lovers on page 98, there is a beautifully illustrated explanation of the S and Z I asked about, as well as very clear diagrams of the different knots. I think I'll stick to what appeals to me, and leave all the in-depth analysis to others, but Rich, you have gone out of your way to explain so much, and there are others viewing who have benefited.

I'm starting another thread here despite all my efforts to stop. Things happen, and yesterday this became mine in exchange for the equivalent of a very good bottle of Bordeaux or a not-bad meal for two. (I don't think we're allowed to mention costs here).

Measures 5'5 x 3'11. Unfortunately, colour is not representing well. What comes across as whitish, is the lovely beige you know is there

This, to my eye, is a thing of beauty. I think I know what it is, but I await your comments and hope I can answer questions, if there are any.





Flower motifs too close together in corner:



Given the condition of the rest of the rug, the edge must be a full repair because there appears to be no damage to it at all.







The most damage. Bottom left hand corner:



Bad attempt at repair:





The back showing the slightly different colour.



Joy
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 08:56 PM   #2
Filiberto Boncompagni
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That's easy.
Melas prayer rug.
Regards,

Filiberto
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 09:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni View Post
That's easy.
Melas prayer rug.
Regards,

Filiberto
Grazie Filiberto. And are they very common? To be found easily? This one looks quite old.

Joy
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 09:06 PM   #4
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Hi Joy,

That is a classic Melas (Milas) prayer rug from Western Anatolia. Any number of survey rug books will have one of similar ilk. It is a bit tired in spots, but still beautiful. Our friend, Patrick Weiler, found one of these in Alaska (possibly by accident), which stands as my most unlikely Melas PR find; but you may have just moved into second place.

You continue to lead the league in acquisition technique! Bravo!

Be assured I do not expect you to become a technical whiz with the obscure details, at least not right away. However, I remember my early years of looking at rugs and trying with occasional frustration to master the basics. I am of the opinion that one cannot really understand the subject without having a basic grasp of the innards and underlying details of materials, structure and weaving practices...not for their own sake, but as a context within which to appreciate the weavings. So, I wanted to give you some insight into what is out there and how one might go about looking into those matters, and I addressed what was at hand for that purpose.

Keep looking, and keep trading!

Rich

P. S.: Just spotted Filiberto's reply and your question. It is old. Easily 100 years plus, I would say.
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 09:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post

Be assured I do not expect you to become a technical whiz with the obscure details, at least not right away. However, I remember my early years of looking at rugs and trying with occasional frustration to master the basics. I am of the opinion that one cannot really understand the subject without having a basic grasp of the innards and underlying details of materials, structure and weaving practices...not for their own sake, but as a context within which to appreciate the weavings. So, I wanted to give you some insight into what is out there and how one might go about looking into those matters, and I addressed what was at hand for that purpose.

Keep looking, and keep trading!

Rich

P. S.: Just spotted Filiberto's reply and your question. It is old. Easily 100 years plus, I would say.
Thank you Rich. And please keep giving me insight into what is out there. It's fascinating and I'm very grateful and appreciative and I know you're absolutely right. I just get a bit bogged down in the seemingly endless complexity of it all. It brings to mind Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi.

" ... it is something like giving the dimensions of a sunset by astronomical measurements, and cataloguing the colors by their scientific names--as a result, you get the bald fact of the sunset, but you don't see the sunset. It would have been better to paint a picture of it."

I think it's my very favourite rug now, even though it's so easily distinguishable, but I'm glad I got it right. It will be cleaned and hung and nobody will walk with disdain on it again, as they were yesterday ... the Bulgarian says I'm gushing. So be it.

Joy
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 03:35 AM   #6
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Hi Joy,

Mark Twain had that one right, along with most everything else. And I fully expect you would find the gory details a bit heavy at this point. But having a basic understanding of rugs as woven fabrics, and the ability to draw helpful conclusions from variations you are able to observe, can go a long way to enhance your appreciation. There are some experienced collectors and such who profess to have no interest in structural analysis, and that sort of thing; different strokes for different folks. But I firmly believe one needs some skills and knowledge in that area to fully appreciate the craft.

Appreciating a beautiful rug fully involves more than simply looking at it in isolation. There is also the supplementary appreciation gained from assessing its qualities in the context of what is known about the traditions from which it sprung. That gets into figuring out who wove it, where, and as much as possible, when. One cannot become very adept in that area without a bag full of tools and the experience of seeing and handling a lot of rugs. It isn't so much a case of missing the sunset because one became hung up on the perigee of the orbit of Mars; rather, it may be that the observer who has the greatest understanding of the universe appreciates the beautiful sunset the most. Or maybe not.

Anyway, I think I can tell that if you continue your keen interest in this subject (and also, separating unwitting pilgrims from their rugs in the most creative ways ), you will have a good facility for grasping the more elusive details. So, I am just trying to nudge you forward in that.

BTW, I suggest you tell the Bulgarian there is nothing wrong with gushing. It's half the fun of rugs. Tell him he should try it!

Rich
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 08:52 AM   #7
Filiberto Boncompagni
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Hi Joy,

Sorry for the brevity of my previous answer but I was about to switch off my computer before going to bed when I saw your new thread.
In any case I see Rich fully compensated for my lack of comments…
Regards,

Filiberto
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 03:15 PM   #8
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Hi Filiberto,

You all know that it took me several hours to look it up and close in on what it was, whereas it's so obvious to all of you, and that's why it takes a bit of courage for people like me to come on here! So yes, I felt a bit crestfallen, but it's a lesson too. One learns from everything. At least I've reached the point that I had a strong inkling it was Turkish and not from any of the other rug weaving countries. I'm sure you can recall experiencing the kind of excitement that I felt when I found it. But thank you for probably guessing my disappointment!!

Ian Bennett's Rugs and Carpets comment on Melas Weavings that ". .. good examples (which do not, it must be said, seem particularly rare)" answers my question as to whether they are easy to find. He adds that they are especially admired by present-day (1977) collectors. So I'm just a bit late.

It's in far far better shape than the Harry Rosen rescues and will be my favourite. It will hang next to the mongrel Caucasian whose bright colours will stand in stark contrast to these gorgeous muted natural dyes and their patina of age.

Rich, did Patrick Weiler ever show the one he found in Alaska on TurkoTek? If so, I would love to see its condition.

Thank you both.

Regards,

Joy
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy Richards View Post
Rich, did Patrick Weiler ever show the one he found in Alaska on TurkoTek? If so, I would love to see its condition.
I'm trying to think of why anybody would place the condition of a rug in someone else's collection as the major reason for wanting to see it.

Steve Price
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 04:30 PM   #10
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My apologies. Big faux pas.
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 04:39 PM   #11
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Hi Steve,
Quote:
I'm trying to think of why anybody would place the condition of a rug in someone else's collection as the major reason for wanting to see it.
Here's a reason. The person has one in compromised condition, and that is the only one the person has seen. So, the person inquires about another example, thinking the viewing will enable a comparison with his/her piece, and at the same time, provide an opportunity to see a complete one.

Seems reasonable to me.

Rich
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 05:28 PM   #12
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Hi Rich

I can understand why it would be a reason. But the only reason to warrant being mentioned? Knot density, color, drawing, handle, and all the other properties that distinguish the good, bad and ugly. Condition would be my last concern unless it was just a fragment. Even then ...

Steve Price
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 05:56 PM   #13
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Hi Steve,

I take your point. I think it might shake out differently for a novice enthusiast.

The word on the street is 'rugs and ruggies' are dwindling down to a few old fogeys; and, to echo the immortal Pogo, echoing the immortal Commander Perry, "We have met the enemy, and he is us!" So, I figured we might be liberal in recruiting allies.

Just sayin'.

Rich
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 06:28 PM   #14
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Hi Rich

I don't mean to drag this out, but part of our responsibility is educating novices. This sometimes means putting their wheels back on the rails. My opinion, which I think most ruggies share, is that condition is an important factor for market value, but barely rises above being trivial in discriminating quality of a piece.

Steve Price
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 09:43 PM   #15
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Right! Fair enough.
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 09:45 PM   #16
Joy Richards
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[QUOTE=Steve Price;25092]

"I don't mean to drag this out, but part of our responsibility is educating novices."

Which is clearly what I am. I too would prefer not to drag this out, Steve, but I think it's important for you to know that this approach is why there are so very few people participating. Perhaps an email to me privately explaining that my question was trivial and inappropriate might have been better than this. I have so enjoyed the company - albeit of thesis level participants compared to my Grade One comments and questions. I will not be posting any more because the joy has gone out of it. I will continue to enjoy my rugs without further comment.

I'm left with thanking you for entering the pictures without complaint.

"My opinion, which I think most ruggies share, is that condition is an important factor for market value, but barely rises above being trivial in discriminating quality of a piece."

Since Filiberto identified the rug, anybody interested would look it up so there would be no need to discuss knot count, warp and weft material, etc. That needs to be done with something like the Caucasian prayer rug which was not that clear.

You will know from my posts that the value of any of these rugs or selling them is the last thing on my mind and of absolutely no interest to me. I believe Rich very clearly enunciated why someone like me might be interested in seeing Patrick's piece. And I would encourage anybody who regularly reads these threads, to show their loved pieces, learn about them, jump on board. You will have learned from me what not to say!

Joy
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 11:17 PM   #17
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Hi Joy

I apologize for offending - my intention was to be constructive. I know that market value wasn't driving your question, and didn't mean to suggest that it was.

As an aside, I get lots of correspondence about why more people aren't participating, and nearly all are ruggies who find many of the pieces posted to be unworthy of discussion. My response is always that we believe that the educational component outweighs a rather strong dose of what ruggies refer to as eBay quality material.

Again, my apologies for offending.

Steve
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Old July 24th, 2018, 08:19 PM   #18
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Hi Joy,

One little aside on your Melas prayer rug. When Bennett commented that they did not seem particularly rare, he did not mean they were growing on trees. He was speaking in relative terms. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when rug collecting in Europe and points west was getting legs, Turkish (i. e., Anatolian) prayer rugs were very much desired, and some reached dazzling heights of value that have not since been equaled. There were several survey books published around that time, say between 1900 (Mumford) until about the First World War. Most of them featured the obligatory line-up of Turkish prayer rugs, and Melas examples were often noted among the 'usual suspects'. It is in that context that Bennett was suggesting they were not as rare as one might think. On the other hand, I would be very pleased to have yours!

Rich

Last edited by Rich Larkin; July 24th, 2018 at 08:38 PM.
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Old July 25th, 2018, 01:41 AM   #19
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Hi Rich,

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. I hope (and imagine) that it's cyclical with oriental rugs.

But I hate to see them thrown out to be lost forever. I will end up with a lot of bedraggled injured old things - a sort of sanctuary for has-beens (and some inevitable duds). Their impoverished state doesn't bother me at all.

Thank you for clarifying Bennett's comment. Not that I mind that they once flooded the market! My rug guy couldn't even identify it. But he's Iranian and they tend to have eyes only for ...

I know. It's a jungle out there.

Joy
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Old July 25th, 2018, 01:50 AM   #20
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Hi Joy,

Quote:
Not that I mind that they once flooded the market!
I did not mean to imply they once flooded the market. I think Bennett was suggesting they may have been more numerous than some other of the 'officially elite' Anatolian PRs. These days, collectors are more discriminating than merely to respond to a label in knee jerk fashion. But everybody respects a nice old Melas. For my own part, I always liked its distinctive palette, which is well exemplified by your piece.

Rich
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