Mystery Textile Number 1
Here is Richard's first mystery textile:
guess number 1
Eastern Anatolian Chuval.
What is the scale, I do not understand the unities used on the side of the picture (it can be centimeters ?)
Without the scale problem this piece could be the end kilim of an ersari rug ?
Dear Mr. Louis Dubreuil
the scale is in centimeters.
Might I suggest that both you and Patrick Weiler post an image of what you think might be a companion piece to the object you have each suggested . . .
It looks like the back of an Afghan khorjin to me, with the back of a Kurdish bag as a likely second choice.
From the real scale of the weaving it could be something bigger than a bag or a kordjin. It can look like a fragment of a great cover from the Azeri area.
IMO, its a somewhat longer than usual fringe on an Ersari-Beshir main carpet.
I have a very similiar example, except the finge on my carpet is only about
Thanks for an interesting and fun exercise
Here is a link to the recent New England Rug Society exhibit, To have and to
Hold, showing an Anatolian chuval. These usually have a large flatweave section
with stripes, although the mystery weaving shows wide stripes with narrow
stripes to each side.
Also, most khorjins and chuvals have a flatweave back and quite often they are striped, so this mystery weaving could be one or the other, too.
My guess is West-Anatolia striped Kilim, 19th. cent. I put a tenner on it...
The end of a Yuncu kilim.
some very good guesses . . . i will not say if any are correct.
soon a new and - i hope - amazing clue.
the kilim end of a Turkoman flat weave, 19th century, Yomut?
Where did you find my pyjama jacket?
And where is the soumack part?
Did you cut it?
Now this is getting serious.
Dear folks -
This one seems more familiar.
I'm with those who think this is Western Anatolian.
Perhaps the back of one of the grain bags that Stiener and Pinkwart have documented.
R. John Howe
Heavy canvas from Italian "sedia a sdraio" (deck chair), early 20th.
Here you can see a modern version:
Nowadays this kind of fabric is plastic coated.
I see from the picture that the kilim seems to be made with two warps at one weft pass. The two warps do not seeem to be twisted together but just laid side by side .
From colours ,wool and design the piece seems Western Anatolian . It looks like the back of a Karakecili bag to me . However the above mentioned feature could also indicate an unusually large kilim end of a western anatolian carpet ?
Nice thing about textiles is that the surprise never ends !
this is what I had in mind, the kilim end of a Turkoman cicim.
Admittedly, it could be anything else, i.e. the bottom panel of a mafrash, back of heybey etc.
There are enough structural , colour and design differences between your picture of Turkoman cicim and the piece of Mr. Farber.
Especially , the shade of the reds, the alternating blue and green stripes and the wide stripes flanked by narrow stripes is the signature of Western Anatolian nomadic tribes.
As to the question of what it is exactly , it has high design and weave similarities with the back of cuvals but I do not recall a "canonic" design exactly the same.
In old cuvals usually the red space between coloured lines is exactly the same dimension as the coloured stripes themselves. This is not the case with this piece and what makes me doubt.
I am intrugued by the "double warps" in the kilim weave unless it is a digital illusion . Mybe Mr Farber could confirm (or infirm) that observation .
I appreciate your argument and am getting all the more curious.
When you post, would you mind overwriting the word "unregistered" in the user name field with "Horst Nitz"? The software will ask you for your password if you do this (unless your computer is set to fill it in automatically), and will send it to you if you've forgotten it.
Richard sent another clue:
I had to resize the original image, thus loosing a lot of detail. Here is a
cropped part of the original.
See the "double warps" noticed by Ali.
Dear folks -
Now it appears that there is pile. If so, my western Anatolian bet is entirely off.
The green throws me too.
Don't have a new one.
R. John Howe
Never knew "Jaff kurdish bag with back" were made in West Anatolia.
I want to hold on my tenner...
A- ha, now we have the knots !
They look strange to me (some overlap)- interesting structure . Now the foundation and the colours might help better guessing.
White wefts ! pretty rare in Western Anatolia and also some offset knotting from what I could guess. Also looks like up to 4 shots of wefts after a row of knots .
Should we adventure further ?
I believe I have seen old CAL carpets with similar features , and colouring and sometimes they have wild features. I do not see cotton warps though. Somewhere in that area (CAL, Dazkiri, Kutahya ) ?
What a riddle.
Double warps but no apparent jufti knots. Is there a horizontal axis going through the piled section? If so, why do we see the flat-woven back of the thing (upper half) along with the piled front (lower half), looking at the latter from the reverse, judged by what seem to be symmetric knot-collars? Seems all rather free-style, tendency symmetric knotting if I extrapolate. A misshapen salt-bag by Kurds from Khorassan? The green would fit in.
Bachtiar or Lur.
No Soumack in?
Two warps in the back, one warp in the front.
Should be soumack in.
I agree with Vincent that it the fold area of a bag, with flatweave back
above, and section of knotted pile face below. But not necessarily Baktiari or
Lurs---Other SW Persian groups also pair the warps in the flatweave backs. I'm
guessing it is Qashqai or Khamseh, more likely the latter.
A slight diversion from guessing what this is;
This piece appears to have double warps on the back and sinlge warps on the front.
1. If the front and back is one long piece, would I be correct in assuming that one of the double warps continues to the front? And if so, what happens to the other one?
I'm trying to get my head around how the loom would have been set up. The warps would be first I assume. How would this work?
2. Is there some kind of structural reason for double warps (ie - to strengthen the back, or is it simply a tradition?)
Richard, and others:
The procedure is not at all complicated. The pile part of the bag is woven just as you would expect--a row of knots , each tied on two adjacent warps, then the normal ground wefts, each going over one warp, under one warp, etc. Then, when the weaving of the flatweave back begins, the weaver simply begins to insert the weft under two warps, over two, under two, etc. I don't know the reason for this. It might be faster. It also tends to make the flatweave thicker and more ribbed--perhaps it is more durable. But it is very common in South Persian bags. If you have a Qashqai or Khamseh bag with the back still attached, have a look at it. It think it is more likely than not that it will have this structure.
Here's Richard's third clue on this piece:
Hi, Vincent, Robert and all
That’s it - Luri / Bachtiari if anything, as is clearly indicated by the chequer-board piled section around the bottom fold. Looking for the obligatory soumak brocading in vain? Are you sniffing the mystery? It’s all moth-eaten, nothing left! Quite crooked of Richard, how he is leading us around by the nose.
Of course, you could always put those extra wefts in again if you insist. A bit tedious perhaps, but when again will you get the opportunity to create your own antique Luri / Bachtiari bag?
West-Anatolie bag ( heybe ) , Bergama?
dear Horst Nitz,
"Looking for the obligatory soumak brocading in vain? Are you sniffing the mystery? It’s all moth-eaten, nothing left! Quite crooked of Richard, how he is leading us around by the nose."
the original music game is to reveal one note at time . . . in the case of the textilegame that i have initiated -- one part of the textile at a time.
i am not at fault if parts of the mystery textile are in different techniques . . . our long eared dutch friend mentioned soumak a few days ago [perhaps in the next clue it will appear :>}
the textile is worn but not i believe moth eaten. you cannot blame the elephant if his trunk looks different than his tail, his side or his leg.
i suggest that in the meantime you relate to the last clue given.
you aslo wrote
"Of course, you could always put those extra wefts in again if you insist. A bit tedious perhaps, but when again will you get the opportunity to create your own antique Luri / Bachtiari bag?"
i have not tampered with the textile and to the best of my knowledge is has not been tampered with. are you suggested that this is not an antique textile ?
if so your attribution might be istanbul turkey 2004 in the style of the luri
maybe that is the correct answer.
it is as antique as antique can be and you have not tampered with it. I was relating to Vincent's and Robert's post and was making a little bit of fun. Pure desperation. Please, don’t get it wrong or take offence.
i have taken no offence . . .and am sure that none was meant . . .
hasnt the last clue helped ?????
may i suggest that you try your hand at the other mystery objects ?
thinking about motives that appear in knotted carpets should solve one or two rather quickly.
best regards to you and the others suffering from various stages of desperartion
and as i related earlier . . . dont be shy . . . wrong guesses can be more fun than scholarly answers . . .and just think of the turkotekean honor if you are the first to get it right !
If someone guesses correct to any of the mystery textiles, will you immediately tell us? Or perhaps the answer has already been guessed and there is a time set for each textile.
Who is the long eared fellow? There is more than one Dutchman on this salon.
For what it's worth, I think this is a soumac khorjin, with piled strip and flatwoven bag. Kurd? Bakhtiari? Somewhere in NWP perhaps, or just over the border.....
dear mr tomlinson,
a full answer must have
what the texilte is
where it was made
when it was made
and should have an image [ from a book or catalogue or collection] showing a companion piece
your answer is lacking one element and vague on a second but it is almost there . . .
i will ask filiberto to post the image of the complete textile sunday night our time . . .say in about 10 or 12 hours to allow you all out there to look for images of complete pieces that you think will be similar to this textile.
if anyone wants me to wait longer before posting the complete image PLEASE JUST POST ON THIS THREAD AND I WILL WAIT TO GIVE YOU MORE TIME TO FIND YOUR ANWER. in any case i will be giving more clues to all the first seven mystery textiles midweek . . . and adding some more mystery textiles next weekend [unless by popular demand you want the game terminated early]
as to the other items one is closing in and a second might be on the way the others are far far off.
i will immeadiately respond to a full correct guess [to the best of my ability]
i will not responcd to a guess which has one correct element -- you need to guess three what it is where it was made and when it was made.
regards to all
the long eared dutchmen can identify himself . . . . but i can say that this fond nomenclature is meant well.
alright a little clue . . . . a dutchmen of the same first name did not have two long ears at the end of his life.
Let's try this;
What is it?
Bakhtiari khorjin bag - flatweave back, piled strip, soumac front.
How old is it? Where was it made?
Late 19C, somewhere in Persia near Shalamzar or thereabouts
This is a Bakhtiari khojin I have. It has a striped back, but the stripes are narrower and there are no double warps.
That is my final attempt at this.
here is the image of the object. if it is not detailed enough I can make a
'larger' one. as you can see I did not fabricate anything but just played the
textile a note at a time.
I would happy now for the khordjin collectors and experts in shahsavan and related tribes to make their exact attributions.
in the meantime most honorable mention - with a chorus of laudation - to Vincent for being the first to realize that this was a soumak bag and to Richard Tomlinson for his well formulated attribution.
other mystery items await. don't be shy. there are six to be solved. new ones will be up next weekend at the latest so please keep track of the game.
my 'formulated attribution' was merely a summary of all the good work done by knowledgable collectors.
you have not stated an exact attribution, and it may well be one of those pieces that cannot be pinned down.
i doubt it is shahsavan. i can't recall seeing a shahsavan bag with piled strip. this is something more commonly associated with lori and bakhtiari pieces.
i am sure those who have more knowledge will be able to make a more accurate assessment.
this was a fun excercise. i look forward to your new pieces !!
Plate 7 in Tribal Rugs by Jenny Housego shows a close relative of this "mystery" bag. It is attributed Shasavan of Moghan. I would agree with Richard that the piled section around the bottom fold - especially as it is of the chequer-bord variant - is typically Luri. But perhaps the bag is not. The Luri are related to the Kurds and the Shasavan lived in close proximity with them and shared pastures. As did the Bachtiari, by the way. At some point I ventured for a Kurdish origin. The Kurds are known to be skillfull and quick on the uptake of influences.
Thanks for doing this game. Unfortunately, I have really too little experience to sensibly participate in it. However, I'd be very interested to learn, and think it would be quite valuable if you could summarize what clues regarding attribution could have been picked up from the various images.
could you tell us if the weft wrapping is countered or plain (uncountered)?
The more often I look at this bag and think about it - the more Kurdish it appears to me.
Moghan is a distinct possibility, but I would not exclude Karabagh or Khorasan.
thank you for participating in the attribution game for this object.
according to my local experts [my expertise, what there is of it, is more in the areas of the other objects]
probobly kurds living in proximity to the shahsavan [possibly luri]
north west persia
third quarter of 19th century
i thought it was shahsavan myself.
for those of you that can find related pieces that thread is open and waiting for images.
good luck with the other puzzles in the meantime.
as to other suggesting in the last posting i will try to answer in the next two or three days
Greetings to Everybody
Besides its role in the game mystery textile # 1 has turned out to be quite mysterious in its own right. Since its apparent unveiling I have had a look into the literature. This does not result in another attribution than the one already given by Richard Farber: Kurdish, Shasevan, Luri is the definition of the mysterious triangle.
There seem to be two principal sources of information on tribal bags concerning the area concerned. One is Jenny Housego’s classic (1982) Tribal Rugs; the other is Rare Oriental Woven Bags by Heinz Hegenbart (1982). As one could expect, neither book comes forward with a companion piece to mystery textile # 1. It seems possible to draw some conclusions though.
As the distinguished audience of this forum is aware of, the Shasavan are no ethnically homogenous tribe. From the beginning on they were a political confederation made up by Kurdish and Turkish tribes. Among the latter some who claim lineage with the Oghuzes. No wonder, much assimilation and adaptation has gone on in the last 300 + years in the summer tranquillity of Karabagh, Karadagh, Mt.Savalan, or on the winter pastures of Moghan and by the banks of the Araxes river.
Although some artefacts may lean distinctly more to one side rather than the other, Kurdish or Shasavan are no mutually exclusive attributions under this perspective. But where does the Luri come in?
Both authors suggest, and James Opie joins the chorus, that the Luri and the Kurds are “ethnically linked” – and no more is said. The majority of the Luri people live in Luristan proper in the west of Iran. There are some settling further south near the Quashgai and some are living in Diaspora in the Varamin area near Teheran, not far from Kurdish (Shasavan) factions around Ghazvin who apparently got stuck there or could not keep up pace with their mates who made it all the way to Khorassan. There is supposed to be at least one other group that has settled in the area after having travelled to Fars and back. All of them presumably not only picking flowers on their way but also technical ideas and alternative design ideas. Quite a creative melting pot it most have been there at some time. Mystery textile # 1 seems well suited to represent this scenario.
I am trying not to get into a discussion of technical details, as this would fill another page – and I am bit in a hurry. Only two points left: Richard Farbers attribution is not as vague as it may seem. Mystery textile # 1 not either Kurdish or Shasavan or Luri – it is all three of it.
I wonder whether the piled sections in Luri and Bachtiari bags are solely decorative or have some function of which the knowledge has passed away with time. Somewhere I remember to have read the opinion that piles sections were a sort of reinforcement for base and corners. Maybe. An alternative comes to my mind. In cross-country skiing you sometimes put furs or plush under the soles to get better grip whilst climbing. Many individual hairs hook themselves into the snow underneath an give you grip. The Luri and Bachtiari live and migrate (or used to) in and through some very rugged mountain terrain. Some plush or pile along the base may prevent the bags effectively from dangling all over the donkeys ass and cause it trip.
A field experiment is called for.
interesting comments. i agree that the bag in question appears to share characteristics of all 3 groups.
as yet, noone has come forward make a clear case for just one of the 3 groups, and i doubt anyone would be brave enough to do so.
re: piled section, i have heard/read that the piled part of a khorjin (the bottom) is the part that would bounce or rub on the donkey's side
(or arse if you prefer :-)
i guess the continual rubbing would eventually wear out a thinly woven bag (ie kilim) but a piled section would last longer.
also, it might be more comfortable for the donkey !!! (though donkeys are pretty thick ..............skinned. )
thanks to mr nitz and mr tomlinson,
i believe that we might all agree that this fragmentary bag was made before the commercial expansion in carpets and woven objects that has been so well documented by helfgott in 'ties that bind' published by the smithsonian.
perhaps mid 19th but in any case most probobly before the 1880's . . . if this is so that is was not made according to a 'pattern' for a middleman asking for as many bags, carpets,or whatever that you can produce. so we find an idiosyncric one off design integrating whatever elements had caught the fancy of the kurdish or shahsevan or luri women doing the work . . .
i do hope we agree that it has been a fun puzzle
might i suggest that there are still half of the 'mystery objects' that have not been solved.
two further knotted puzzles with be offered tomorrow and these will be the final ones for this minisalon