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

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Old July 9th, 2018, 12:24 PM   #1
Gerry Gorman
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Default Single medallion rug

Hi all, I don't think this rug has much age but I liked the size, almost square at 5 ft X 4.5ft. Some wear but overall it's in good nick. Dyes seem pretty good. I'd be interested in knowing more about the medallion design and the boteh populating the field. It seems to me to have some balouch aspects to it's border design. Any and all comments are welcome.









Regards,

Gerry
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Old July 9th, 2018, 01:36 PM   #2
Ken Shum
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The first to things that come to my mind...

1) Kurd field and guard borders
2) Heriz medallion

Ken
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Old July 9th, 2018, 01:47 PM   #3
Rich Larkin
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Hi Gerry,

This is Afshar from the vicinity of Kirman, and a rather nice-looking one in my opinion. Afshars weave in many venues, and for the most part, in different 'styles' in their various locations. This rug is exemplary of the output in southeastern Iran. If you have access to A. Cecil Edwards, The Persian Carpet (1952), the subject is addressed at length.

BTW, the 'squarish' proportions are typical for this type of Afshar.

Rich
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Old July 9th, 2018, 02:28 PM   #4
Gerry Gorman
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Hi Ken/Rich,

Thanks for your comments and input. It was the squarish proportions that attracted me, it's just a nice sized rug. Afshar seems right I guess. Now all I have to do is decide where to put it, I'm running out of floor space and it would be a shame to just put this into storage. I need to save some cash and buy one of those big old Georgian period houses which would allow me to continue my addiction. Even when I'm not looking to buy a rug, I spot one somewhere and it ends up in the back of my car!

KR Gerry
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Old July 9th, 2018, 02:42 PM   #5
Filiberto Boncompagni
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Hi Gerry,
Quote:
Now all I have to do is decide where to put it
Do it in the old ways:

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Old July 9th, 2018, 05:53 PM   #6
Jim Miller
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Gerry
They are often called Shahr Babak, after the city near Kerman. Typically they have two medallions. You got a nice one.
Jim
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Old July 9th, 2018, 07:39 PM   #7
Gerry Gorman
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Thanks Jim,

Gerry
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Old July 18th, 2018, 09:23 PM   #8
Joy Richards
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Hi Gerry,

“If you don’t take it, I’m going to donate it to a museum” I was told by my dear friend who moved to Calgary to open a carpet shop there. He added that these nomadic (Turkoman) Afshari tribes moved from Central Asia, to settle in and around Azerbaijan and were then relocated to Kerman province, “to prevent them from causing trouble for the kingdom”.

So I took it, and I see that Gerry’s carpet comes from the same neighbourhood which is why I’m adding mine to this thread. As Jim points out, Gerry’s is probably from Shahrbaback. From what I’ve trolled online, I think mine comes from Sirjan. Villages west/southwest of Kerman, quite close to each other.

I understand it could be about 70 years old – mid 20th Century – but I can’t vouch for that and maybe those with better eyes and experience will know from the colour and the weave. It measures 6’2 x 5’3. I shot it while it was still on the wall and I hope it can be seen well enough.

Their borders, to my eye, are the only thing they share. But the beautiful Tribal and Village Rugs has just arrived (in pristine and undamaged condition) and I will commence studying. Maybe then I’ll start recognizing other signs.

But yours is quite lovely Gerry!







Joy
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Old July 18th, 2018, 10:52 PM   #9
Rich Larkin
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That's a beauty, Joy. Can you tell whether the warps are wool or cotton?

Rich
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Old July 18th, 2018, 11:25 PM   #10
Joy Richards
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Is there some way of telling that you can pass on, Rich? My very unscholarly way knows the difference when the rugs are vacuumed. The wool on wool Kurdish big carpet gets sucked up and I have to hold all the corners down. The Afshari 'feels' like cotton but it's quite floppy. So any clues would be welcome.

Joy
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Old July 19th, 2018, 01:51 AM   #11
Joel Greifinger
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Default Burn test

Quote:
Is there some way of telling that you can pass on
Hi Joy,

Do a search under "burn test". Lots of sites, including ones with videos, will walk you through how to distinguish cotton, wool and other fibers.

Joel
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Old July 19th, 2018, 02:17 AM   #12
Joy Richards
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Default It's wool

The warp is wool, Rich. Thank you Joel!

Joy
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Old July 19th, 2018, 04:04 AM   #13
Rich Larkin
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Hi Joy,

If you take a piece of ordinary cotton string and give the end a little chew, you will note it has an unmistakable feel in the mouth. That has been my method in the field when necessary, as most dealers and owners will draw the line at burn tests. Of course, they aren't so keen about chewing either, but it can usually be managed. I have always ignored the hygienic issues, and I am still here!

Rich
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Old July 19th, 2018, 04:26 AM   #14
Joel Greifinger
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Default That's a mouth full

Rich,
Then it's true about you being barred from a couple of auction houses for chewing on the rugs?
Joel
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Old July 19th, 2018, 04:27 AM   #15
Joy Richards
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Hi Rich,

I'll do that next time. But I think cotton is more pleasant than wool in the mouth.

I could tell it wasn't cotton from the way the tiny bit of fringe I cut felt between finger and thumb. But put it to the flame test anyway and confirmed. You must have asked for a reason. Something to do with age?

Joy
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Old July 19th, 2018, 04:31 AM   #16
Rich Larkin
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Hi Joel,

Quote:
Rich,
Then it's true about you being barred from a couple of auction houses for chewing on the rugs?
That's the rumor. It's really because I don't bid.
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Old July 19th, 2018, 08:52 PM   #17
Rich Larkin
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Hi Joy,

Quote:
You must have asked for a reason. Something to do with age?
Pretty much. As a general rule, rugs from a provenance associated with tribal production (or perhaps more accurately, from a provenance associated with nomadic people linked to animal raising and herding) originally featured wool or hair for foundation materials. This was also true for a good deal of rustic or rural village production. For a variety of reasons, many of them switched to cotton foundations at some point.

BTW, on another tack, it is not often that an experienced observer will not be pretty sure about whether a particular material is cotton or wool. A dicier question might be whether a material is cotton or silk, especially when the cotton is mercerized and used as warp material. Chewed silk (favored by the owners even less frequently than wool!) is closer to the cotton feel than wool, but a bit of studied chewing (ideally using one's own laboratory samples ) is usually enough to get the necessary sense imprinted on the brain of the curious researcher.

I once owned a slick Kashan rug (ca. 1940-1950) in which the pile material in the field was a wonderful light gold silk, and the ground color in the border white silk. The rest of the design, which was a single, lush, multi-flowered tree, featured at least a dozen more colors in good quality chrome dyes. I had acquired it in the Middle East, and when I got back to the USA, I took it to a very well-known dealer whose son instantly pronounced the two silky colors to be mercerized cotton. But when I later learned the appropriate testing methods, I learned it was indeed silk. The lesson here is, it's a jungle out there.

Rich
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Old July 19th, 2018, 10:28 PM   #18
Joy Richards
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Larkin View Post

Pretty much. As a general rule, rugs from a provenance associated with tribal production (or perhaps more accurately, from a provenance associated with nomadic people linked to animal raising and herding) originally featured wool or hair for foundation materials. This was also true for a good deal of rustic or rural village production. For a variety of reasons, many of them switched to cotton foundations at some point.

I once owned a slick Kashan rug (ca. 1940-1950) in which the pile material in the field was a wonderful light gold silk, and the ground color in the border white silk. The rest of the design, which was a single, lush, multi-flowered tree, featured at least a dozen more colors in good quality chrome dyes. I had acquired it in the Middle East, and when I got back to the USA, I took it to a very well-known dealer whose son instantly pronounced the two silky colors to be mercerized cotton. But when I later learned the appropriate testing methods, I learned it was indeed silk. The lesson here is, it's a jungle out there.

Rich
This is an important lesson, thank you, realizing that the true character and identity is to be found behind the pretty picture. But does the wool warp make the rugs more fragile, give them a shorter life? (This is all so elementary for you, I know).

Your Kashan sounds like it was a beauty. As for the jungle. That's the easiest lesson to learn. And from the mistakes we make.

Joy
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Old July 19th, 2018, 11:53 PM   #19
Rich Larkin
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Hi Joy,
Quote:
But does the wool warp make the rugs more fragile, give them a shorter life?
I would not say more fragile. I think there is general agreement among authorities that cotton is an essentially more stable and less elastic medium for rugs than wool or hair, so rugs with cotton foundations tend to be more regular in shape than the other, one might say 'more square.' They are said to "lie flat." On the other hand, it is not unusual to encounter rugs that are significantly misshapen, and the phenomenon is attributed partially to the character of the foundation.

For rugs woven by nomadic peoples, the condition is also sometimes attributed to the fact that typically, their looms were horizontal and staked to the ground; and that they were often obliged by circumstances to pull up the stakes, move, and re-stake them. This, it has been said, caused the tension in the foundation of the rug to be skewed, causing shape problems and the inability of the rug to lie flat.

However those dynamics worked, it is definitely true that rugs with all-cotton foundations tend to lie flatter than those with wool or hair; and that it is not uncommon to encounter rugs with wool or hair in the foundation that have shape issues. The following Baluchi rug illustrates one example of the phenomenon, and a measure occasionally implemented to relieve the undesirable effects.



Note that the repeating 'X' shaped element in the border has been significantly 'squeezed together' in the upper right corner. There must have been an excessive blooming or blousing out of the rug in that corner that prevented it from lying flat, and it probably caused a tripping hazard. The remedy for the repair person was to remove a part of the rug there surgically and stitch it back together. You can make out the slightly angled-from-vertical stitch line running from north northwest to south southeast. I have seen a number of rugs over the years that have undergone similar adaptation, most of them wool/hair foundation pieces.

For myself, I want the wool/hair foundation every time if that is what it is supposed to be. I felt that way from the get-go, before I got to reading rug books and such. I am not sure I can explain it.

Rich
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Old July 20th, 2018, 03:22 AM   #20
Joy Richards
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"For myself, I want the wool/hair foundation every time if that is what it is supposed to be. I felt that way from the get-go, before I got to reading rug books and such. I am not sure I can explain it."

Hi Rich,

I'm with you. Doesn't need an explanation.

The Baluchi example you included made me jump. It must be a very commonly produced one as I have one that is almost exactly the same. Slightly shorter, yes, with a bit of a bulge, but not bad enough to have required surgery. It's part of the reason why we love them.

I have learned much from these three threads and I think I should give you all a rest. I hope I can come back in the not too distant future with something that isn't a dud and that will need some looking into by your wise heads. But I look forward to catching up on some of the archived material and to seeing new threads with new mysteries.

Thank you all.

Joy
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