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Old August 2nd, 2018, 02:11 PM   #41
Steve Price
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Hi Rich

A muslim is required to have a clean place to pray, but it doesn't have to be a rug. I've had colleagues who used newspapers for the purpose,

Steve Price
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Old August 2nd, 2018, 02:48 PM   #42
Rich Larkin
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Hi Steve,

Quote:
A muslim is required to have a clean place to pray, but it doesn't have to be a rug. I've had colleagues who used newspapers for the purpose....
Right. In Riyadh, I worked in a public building in which workers (all men!) gathered daily in organized fashion for the prayer right outside my office door. A number of them typically carried their own particular means of dealing with the devotional requirement you mentioned: a small mat, cloth, sheet of paper or cardboard, etc. But not one prayer rug, as far as I could see.

Meanwhile, I did occasionally see prayer rugs in the suq, which I visited religiously (to coin a phrase...) two days on every weekend. In fact, I can only remember two particular prayer rugs there, an Afghan model which I bought, and a Baluch which a friend bought. But I am sure there were others, though not very many compared with what one might find in other oriental rug venues.

Rich
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Old August 4th, 2018, 06:00 AM   #43
Patrick Weiler
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Rich,

A tactile inspection shows that the black is corroded, though not to the pile in any area. The corrosion is more from oxidation (i.e.from age) than only abrasion. The brownish-red of the mihrab is also a bit low, as well as the lighter of the two purple colors. Perhaps the same mordant was used in that purple, as well as the mihrab, but there is no way to tell. I recall reading that two different purple colors are known to be used in some other Anatolian rugs as well. One relevant item is that at the "waist" of the mihrab - or actually the shoulders - there is a red triangle on each side. Many Melas rugs of this type use that brighter red for the entire mihrab, but here it was only used for those triangles and to outline many of the motifs throughout the rug, such as in the lower, back photo of the purple flower seen in my earlier post. As to the general condition, most of the pile is "full" and there are a few spots where repairs were made. But the condition is such that the rug was most likely unused for most of its life; either stored away or hung on a wall in a dimly lit room. So, for some speculation as to what this rug was doing in Alaska, it is a substantial US military state, with adjacent Army and Air Force bases practically in downtown Anchorage, as well as the same in Fairbanks, and other bases on Adak and Kodiak and in Barrow - along with Coast Guard bases. So, it is possibly the case that someone stationed perhaps at Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey acquired it, had the edges stabilized and a cotton sleeve attached at the top and then was transferred to Anchorage and got a divorce, with the aggrieved spouse selling their part of the proceeds for pennies in retribution. A former boss of mine was an avid hunter and as part of his divorce he was required to relinquish ALL of his trophies, which is why he brought to work one day a full adult cougar mounted in a naturalistic pose on a base that filled a 4x8 table. He complained that his ex wife hated his trophies and did not actually want them, but she just wanted him to not have them.
My luck was in taking a right turn instead of a left turn late one summer afternoon, and also in digging into that plywood box that was full of pillow cases and towels. So, Joy Richards, keep looking!

Patrick Weiler

Last edited by Patrick Weiler; August 4th, 2018 at 06:02 AM. Reason: i.e. from age
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Old August 4th, 2018, 08:54 PM   #44
Rich Larkin
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Hi Patrick,

So, no shipment out of Izmir across to the Baltic countries, through the Ukraine and Russia and on up to Siberia, at which point it would be a quick hop across the Bering strait, where the sled dogs would have been waiting. That's disappointing. Even so, your alternate explanation is remarkable enough, if a bit depressing. I can see how it might have happened, having once been in that business.

Whatever the explanation, and everything happens for some reason, the find was extraordinary. I figured out a long time ago I was edified at least as much by the finding of rugs as by the having of them. People weighing in on memorable or unusual rug finds might make an interesting thread. Ms. Joy Richards has revealed some impressive natural instincts in that area.

Rich
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