Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 09-04-2004 09:07 PM:

A Pair of Ersari Chuvals

Hello All- I purchased this pair of Ersari chuvals back in the early ninties and they have provided me with years of both beauty and comfort,as I have them stuffed with feather pillows and use as seating of various incarnations.

While both are beautiful and functional objects ,I do believe one is much better than the other. Let's take a look and see why.

These were my first Turkmen pieces,and it was as clear the day I bought them as it is today which is the better weaving,and I was lucky in seeing them side by side and being able to make the comparison.

The use of a second red in the interior of both the guls and chemche add a whole new dimension to the overall
impression of the first chuval.

Looking at the close range images above we can see the difference in the field and the number,use of color. Notice the striations in the field of the first and the lack thereof in the second image.

Stepping back,notice how flat the second piece seems compared to the first,which is both lighter overall and uses more colors. Small touches, such as the ground of one of it's judor borders having this green color, as with the figures contained within the elem,make a difference.

While I believe both these to be about the same age,I think this contrast in approach to color and use of color exemplify that which in the general distinguishes both the better and aged from the modern- Dave

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 09-04-2004 10:53 PM:



Have you inadvertently (or purposely) shown us four photos of the same bag?
I like them equally well.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-05-2004 02:43 AM:

Hi Pat,

No, if you look carefully you will see that the first and the third photos are, say, of chuval A (which I prefer for colors and abrash) and the other two are related to chuval B.

The design is pretty much the same, though, but there are details (such as A having a minor inner border with "domino" elements on the sides under the half secondary guls while B doesnít have it) that help to distinguish them, apart the colors of course.


Posted by Tim_Adam on 09-05-2004 10:55 AM:

A puzzle

The two pieces are very similar indeed, but not completely. Apart from the color differences in the primary guls already mentioned, I can detect some minor differences in the main border, and the treatment of the secondary gul at the side of the main field. Are there any others?


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 09-05-2004 11:47 AM:

Different As Night And Day

Filiberto,tim,Pat, All-

If you turn to pg. 12 of Thompsons "Turkmen" you will see a pair of chuvals described as Ali Eli and of the same type as these,I do believe. It is my understanding that these are woven in pairs, and being so similar I thought at the time of purchase that they might be a set, with masculine and feminine designs,but now I don't believe so,although I wouldn't rule it out entirely.

Maybe these demonstrate the difficulties inherent in judging quality among Turkmen work. At first they do seem so similar,but there really quite a few differences between then.

This bag "A",the better of the two,is really much better than the other IMHO,the result of this lighter,second red. It makes a world of difference,as does this abrash,a real moire pattern which changes when viewed from different angles.

Also, nobody has seemed to noticed that bag"B" has a larger scale design, composed of four banner guls and three complete chemche,opposed to the five gul four chemche sported by the other,and hence the impression one might be feminin and the other more masculine. The interior of the banner gul in "A" is more complex,being a Twelve Triangle Banner Gul, while "B" has only eight.

There is a difference in the dyes,as some of the reds in bag"B" have faded and some modest tip fading is evident. The reds of bag"A" are more saturated,and the varigations evidenced by the moire are clear.

The pile of bag "B" is longer,stiffer,and dryer,but not so much as to seem brittle; the pile of"A" is shorter,softer to the touch and contains more lanolin. Being so similar otherwise,I suspect that these differences could be due to the handling of the wools prior to weaving,as in hand carding/dying vs. a manufacturing process. The pile strands seem fuller and more unifirm in bag"B" than in "A".- Dave

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 09-06-2004 07:16 PM:

Old vs. New

All- Find below an old piece for comparison- Dave

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 09-07-2004 11:08 PM:

Not as good

I do like the variety of blues, the spacing and size of the guls, the effective elem design, the rich reds and the sumptuous secondary guls.
Of course your example is not nearly as good because it can not be used as a pillow.

Patrick Weiler