What I Bought at ACOR 8
Dear folks -
I know that several people who post on Turkotek bought pieces at ACOR 8. So far only Wendel has said what he bought (a nice green ground Swedish pillow cover).
I did not myself plan to buy anything at ACOR 8. I looked a lot, and saw some small things I could find space to put up, but actually did a final round of the dealers' fair the last day and got into the car ready to drive away, when my wife said that I should go back and buy one of the things I liked: that I had worked hard enough to deserve treating myself a bit.
So I went back inside and again looked at three pieces I had been attracted to. Finally, I decided on this one.
This is a direct scan of a very small (5 inches by 8 inches) Shahsavan bag. It is complete. The back, largely unremarkable, looks like this.
The weave is not particularly fine, but the piece is in such good condition that the first person who saw it here asked if it was new.
It is open at the top, as you see it in the images above, and there is no sign whatever of use and I don't know its intended function.
I liked colors, the holistic look the weaver managed in this small space. It projects a nice completeness that I find satisfying.
It is the only Shahsavan piece I own.
Frank comments are invited.
R. John Howe
Small itís beautiful!
Dear folks -
I had an experienced Turkish dealer and repairer here today who said that he thought this little Shahsavan piece was likely intended for use as a kind of wallet for holding paper money.
There were such things and the men often stuck them into a waist band of some sort.
So that's one opinion of the purpose for which this small bag was made. If it was actually used in this way. it shows no wear. A special occasion item, perhaps, like my Japanese kimona that I wear only at rug conferences. I've owned it for 10 years and it shows no wear either.
R. John Howe
Interesting. I nearly bought, a few weeks ago, a minature version of a shasavan "beetle" bag, about 8" x 12" and consisting of the soumac face and the simple plain weave back.
In short, a pouch much like yours but larger. I didn't seem to have much age, but was in new condition. I returned to buy, but it was gone!
I expect that there is a concern, with a piece like the one I bought above, about whether it might be recent.
The dealer claimed no great age, but did not think it new production.
But there is such, and some of it is very good, and so one is exposed to error.
Sometime I'll have someone like Wendel look at it in hand and then we'll likely have a better basis for suggesting at least something about its likely age.
R. John Howe
I think it is an attractive little weaving.
Your point about there being very good recent production is pertinent. I know of some dealers in this part of the world who are well-connected to weaving groups and will often "commission" work, often using their favourite old pieces or pictures from rug books as models for the design. The results can be very good, though in my experience they often look just a bit "stiffer" than the older pieces.
If one is buying primarily for the aesthetic appeal, then I suppose that the main risk is paying an "age" or "authentic tribal origin" premium. The dealers that I like visiting volunteer the information that these are new production pieces, and price them accordingly.
Beetle Bag Fake Simile
Hi John, James
Turns out I was mistaken, this beetle bag turned up during my visit Friday, so I bought it.
Actual dimensions are aprox. 12" x 12". The color reproduction is not the best here, but the first image is the most accurate representation of color. Not as good as yours, although the tag discribed the bagface as "Old, from Iran". I suspect that while it may not be new, it may as well be, but then I am not at all familiar with Shahsavan soumac bags. Just three more to go, and I've a nice set of Turko place mats .