Posted by Marvin Amstey on 08-20-2004 05:00 PM:

Two Baluchi bags

These two bags have the best wool and color quality among Baluchi pieces that I have seen. They each have approximately 170 kpsi, very similar borders and slightly different wool quality. The images don't show as clearly as I would like nor as the same size - which they are - since one is a scan from "Vanishing Jewels" and the other is a digital photo, but I believe that these were woven in the same village within a few years of each other.

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 08-20-2004 06:40 PM:

Same Village?


The two bags look so different in color and design that it is hard to believe they were woven in the same area except for the similar borders.
One significant difference is the animals at the bottom of the field of the second rug. They have the "chicken feet" and Baluch crest, but with tails that make them look more like goats or dogs than chickens. Perhaps that makes them "dickens". The animals in the first bag do not have the crest or chicken feet, leading one to infer that this tribe had a different tradition of design.

Other differences are the medachyl reciprocal inner border in the bottom piece instead of the floral meander of the upper piece and the lack of a small decorative strip at the bottom of the second piece.

Another interesting feature of the second bag is the motif interspersed with the octagon stars surrounding the medallion. At first glance they appear to be alternating diagonal motifs, but closer examination reveals them to be quatered "Guls" similar to those known from Turkmen rugs.

What is it that makes them seem to be related, besides the main border and knot count?

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Marvin Amstey on 08-20-2004 07:48 PM:

The knot count, colors and the wool make them seem very similar to me. The designs and motifs are a bit different as you point out. I'll attribute that to one family's work versus another family's work in the same locale.

Posted by Richard Tomlinson on 08-21-2004 08:40 AM:

Hi Marvin

I think it's a BIG call to say the pieces are from the same village. You are obviously pretty confident and brave enough to to it though.

I am concerned though that you might think one family would weave quite different designs and motifs.

As far as I can tell, Beluch weavers (and others) are very 'conformist'. I see dozens of similarly designed chantehs and bagfaces and balishts on ebay.

I would have thought that animal designs would differ from region to region rather than family to family.

Best regards

Richard Tomlinson

Posted by R. John Howe on 08-21-2004 10:30 AM:

Marvin -

Are they also meant as illustrations of the way in which your own taste has developed over the years?

You seem to describe them in fairly equivalent positive terms.


R. John Howe

Posted by Marvin Amstey on 08-23-2004 09:57 AM:

Yes. I would say that these are examples of my middle years. I've moved on; tired of red rugs. Into bold color, but not not quite as bold as the Caucasus, however.

Posted by Marvin Amstey on 08-23-2004 04:56 PM:

Most of whats on Ebay and other sites selling Baluchi pieces that are 20th c., and most are from Afghanistan. These two pieces are probably Eastern Iran and, I believe, 19th c. Perhaps using the term "same village" is a bit much, but I would state, "the same region". I'll get more specific and say, "within a hundred miles". That is a brave statement since I've never been there. So I am speculating and, obviously, not adding to rug scholarship, but just the same...... (hot air!)

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 08-24-2004 03:28 AM:

Hi Marvin,

I've moved on; tired of red rugs. Into bold color, but not quite as bold as the Caucasus, however.

So, why donít you show us one example of your new taste?


Posted by Marvin Amstey on 08-24-2004 07:30 PM:

Just because Filiberto asked, here are two from the new direction.

The first is an early 20c Afshar saddle. It's made on cotton warps with a knot count of ~220. The pile is like velvet and the colors are very well saturated. The second is a late 19c.-early 20c Khamseh "mother and daughter" boteh rug with perfect dense pile on wool and hair warps. The end is cut off in the photo, but it has a full kilim end on both sides with long warp fringes still intact. I love them both.