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

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Old June 7th, 2018, 03:24 AM   #1
George Liu
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Default Help ID'ing a Rug

I recently purchased this rug at a yard sale and would like to learn more information about it. The seller said it was kept in an attic for a long time and had no additional information.

1) Is it a real hand made oriental rug?
2) What type/style of rug is it?
3) Approximately how old is it?

Thanks!





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Old June 7th, 2018, 06:21 PM   #2
Patrick Weiler
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Default Enjilas

George,
You have what looks like an Enjilas rug. Various spellings exist, but it is a Hamadan area rug with the typical Enjilas border and colors. A good "furnishing" rug, which means you should feel free to just throw it on the floor and let people walk on it!


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Old June 7th, 2018, 09:51 PM   #3
Phil Bell
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George,

Yes hand made and oriental. My guess is 50 years old at the most but I am the least well qualified to speak compared to the other learned contributors. What I do know is that cotton foundation rugs such as this are tough beasts and great furnishing items, I have two similiar pieces which have endured many years of wear.

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Old June 8th, 2018, 10:21 PM   #4
Rich Larkin
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Default Quick, where is the litterbox?

Hi George,

Patrick told me that if I contradict his another one of his posts, he was going to send over a herd of cats to inspect my rugs. Mercifully, I'm not doing that. However, I thought I might add a little to his comments to give you some context. And I have a brief footnote to Enjilas.

There are hundreds of rug weaving villages in the larger area surrounding Hamadan in Northwestern Iran. Most of their output is collected in Hamadan for export. Thus, the market term, "Hamadan village rug," encompasses very many production venues. Traditionally in the marketplace, perhaps the names of a couple of dozen or so of the villages would often be used, and in that way, sectors of the production would achieve some recognition; but by no means have all of the producing locales become widely known. In addition, where specific village names would be applied to recognized qualities, they were probably representing more than one village in a particular geographical area.

The range of quality among the Hamadan area rugs is wide, though most of them could be described as medium quality, at least for the greater part of the 20th century. Some venues have become associated with higher quality, and some with lower. Enjilas is one of the villages typically associated with better rugs in my experience. In particular, fineness of weave, quality of wool and quality of color are often mentioned in connection with that place; variety and originality of pattern is not cited as much.

I would not be inclined to place the rug you posted in Enjilas, and this is where I am watching carefully for the onslaught of cats. The rug is not especially fine in weave in comparison with the usual Enjilas brand, in my opinion. I am not ready, however, to offer another more appropriate village name. I just wanted to give you a sense of where things stand with the Hamadan area rug.

BTW, ironically, it is said that for a long time, there was not much weaving done in Hamadan itself until the first half of the 20th century, when a group of operators and entrepreneurs in the rug business designed a product with great care and consideration for the demands and realities of the market. When they got around to giving it a name, they decided that "Hamadan" would not do, as it was 'taken,' so to speak. So they looked for a healthy municipal location that was not then associated with rug weaving. They settled upon Kazvin, which lies about 135 miles northeasterly of Hamadan, so their new and improved product has been known in the USA ever since as The Kazvin Rug. Go figure! (I believe that same rug is known as "Alvand," after a prominent mountain near Hamadan, in the U. K., and perhaps elsewhere.)

The Persian Carpet, by A. Cecil Edwards, published in about 1952, provides much information on these rugs if you can find it. In addition, there is a book with which I am not familiar, the author of which does not come to mind, dedicated to the Hamadan area rug. Perhaps someone will check in with that information, in case you wish to pursue the subject.

Rich
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Old June 9th, 2018, 03:15 AM   #5
George Liu
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Thank you very much to everyone who has replied thus far. I really appreciate the insight! I asked a few local oriental rug experts in my area for an opinion as well. They all seem to agree that this is from the Bibi Kabad village as opposed to Enjilas from around 1960s. Rich (or others), what are your thoughts about this opinion?
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Old June 9th, 2018, 05:10 AM   #6
Rich Larkin
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Bibikabad is a plausible theory. I imagine your informants know more about it than I do.

My experience with Bibikabad rugs is mostly large room-sized rugs. They have a rather distinctive design. There is typically a relatively small, simple center motif that is surrounded by multiple fields within a field within a field, etc., until it reaches the outer edges. Kabeesh? Furthermore, these fields are elongated, through the central axis of the rug, so that each field is, in effect, a stretched diamond. Looking at your rug, if we think of the two corner motifs as extending beyond the limits of the rug, they would be consistent with the Bibikabad approach, although I think of the multiple adjoining Bibikabad fields as busier and more closely jammed together.

The apparent fineness of the weave is more consistent with Bibikabad than Enjelas in my experience. BTW, I agree with your informants’ age estimate.


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Old June 11th, 2018, 01:34 AM   #7
Patrick Weiler
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Default The cat's in the bag

Rich,
I have removed the cats from the box, some live, some dead. Schroedinger was right. Meanwhile, the reason for my Enjilas description is mainly the border. Type either Enjilas rug or Bibikabad rug in your browser and you may find it difficult to find this border on rugs designated as Bibikabad, but you will find it on a page with Enjilas rugs. Not to say this border was not used in Bibikabad work, but my personal interest in pursuing this project is colored by two issues. One, the fact that I am suffering from a lung infection, temperature over 100 and lack of the energy required to continue. Now I know how Stanley felt while searching for Livingstone. Sort of. And second is that my personal interest in Bibikabad vs Enjilas rugs is, on a scale of one to ten, in fractions of one. A quick perusal of Eiland and Eiland provides no elucidation . This salon may add some information of additional interest; http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00065/salon2.html

Now I will go attend to the pounding in my head.
Patrick Weiler
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Old June 11th, 2018, 08:16 AM   #8
Filiberto Boncompagni
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Try to get well, pal.
Fight back!



Filiberto
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Old June 11th, 2018, 02:44 PM   #9
Rich Larkin
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Hi Patrick,

Sorry to hear about your malady. Even a guy who would send cats after another guy's rugs deserves some respite.

I don't doubt that the border of George’s rug is not a frequent one in the Bibikad repertoire. I am not too fervent on that provenance; I just noted that the layout and angle of the corners in the rug was not inconsistent with the Bibikabad approach. Meanwhile, I think of Enjilas rugs as being among the more finely woven of the Hamadan line. (I see in rereading that I may have implied high fineness of weave in George’s rug; I really meant lack thereof, as the image with the coin suggests a relative coarseness.)

Given that there are/were reportedly several hundred villages contributing to the generality that is/was the Hamadan Rug, I do not use up too many of my rapidly diminishing resources trying to be too fine about pinpointing the right one. I have never seen the one book that is reportedly dedicated to that genre of rug. I recall inquiring about it to Brother Joel Greifinger, who is to rug literature what Genghis Khan was to the known world, but I forget what he said, demonstrating why I am so concerned about depletion of resources, supra.

The link to the John Howe salon is very interesting, though I think he was falling into the trap of trying to make more of the Neff & Maggs approach than it is able to provide. But the salon (like the book!) does appropriately emphasize that backs do deserve close attention. (What they don’t do is actually answer the questions. Rather, they prompt one to actually figure out the structure and materials that are the reasons the back looks like it does. That process may actually gin up some answers.)

Do get well. I am not a doctor, but in this case, I feel I must quarantine you to stay out of the bunker. I shudder to think of those submicroscopic beasties and such lurking in the folds of that trove.

Rich
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Old June 14th, 2018, 08:25 PM   #10
Joel Greifinger
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Quote:
I recall inquiring about it to Brother Joel Greifinger
Hi Rich,

To my knowledge, there are two books on Hamadan area rugs: Hamadan (1994) by Stockholm dealer, Peter Willborg and One Woman One Weft (2002) by Maine dealer Tad Runge. Here are close-ups of the backs of Bibikabad and Enjelas rugs from both books.

Bibikabad:



Enjelas:




Based on both design and weave structure, I think that Zarand is a good possibility for George's rug.

Joel Greifinger

Last edited by Joel Greifinger; June 14th, 2018 at 08:38 PM.
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