Posted by Mark_Traxler on 10-11-2006 08:14 PM:

A Tale of Two Rugs

Thanks for risking your very reputation to bring us Jerry Thompson's lovely display of Persian city rugs! I'm flabbergasted by the reaction of some readers who (pardon me in doing so) level judgment in what seems to be an empty gesture of chest pounding. For heaven's sake! I wonder how many people were brought to the altar of rug collecting out of wild fascination with city rugs. The saying I once heard was, "If it isn't Persian, it doesn't fly!" - an obvious reference to "flying carpets."

Well, of course I must confess that at one time I felt that way. Truth be told, I once purchased an 1880 Bijov Kuba for $450 dollars, in mint entirely intact condition, and sold it blissfully for $750.

I must add that I listed said tribal rug on "Turkotek" for sale at a now paltry sum. It was offered to the same august readership that we have now, I'm sure. Finally, I sold it to a dealer, thinking myself quite a clever man to have doubled my money, nearly.

What did I do with my money? Bought a very nice 4X6 Nain, thank you very much. I still have it, rolled up in Tyvek, waiting for one of my daughters to get married. I still love it, of course. But oh, what I would not give (in a monetary sense) to have the chance to buy back my little Bijov Kuba! We learn, we grow, we enjoy, we castigate ourselves!

Let us enjoy. Revel. Reflect. For this purpose I would like to share with your readership a fine little Sarouk rug I have.

What a happy tale I could tell about finding it in the rural community in which I live, along with a very nice Kerman rug, as well as a somewhat newer Sarouk. The other two have gone to good homes, and I own the little Sarouk free and clear. It has lovely color, don't you think? And a nice asymetrical layout! And the wool is of course unsurpassed. Aren't these qualities we enjoy in any weaving?

Thank you for the walk through Jerry's visual garden of delights.

Mark Traxler

Posted by Steve Price on 10-11-2006 08:26 PM:

Hi Mark

Your post reminded me that Turkotek was a venue for rug sales while Tom Stacy owned and ran it.

I don't quite understand the snobbery surrounding urban rugs, and I say that as someone who is primarily a tribal/rustic textiles collector. Why should people who dress in synthetic fiber clothing dyed with synthetic dyes, use such materials for upholstery, draperies, tablecovers and bedspreads, suddenly become offended by a rug that's unambiguously a commercial product?

Our home is covered with what we collect, but we don't use antiques as floor coverings. We have a Kashan, an Isfahan, a Sarouk, a Heriz, and a Bijar on the floors, and a Hereke prayer rug hanging on a wall. They look great (in my opinion, at least), and I would never apologize to anyone for owning and liking them.


Steve Price

Posted by Sue Zimmerman on 10-12-2006 02:31 PM:

Hi Mark,

Between what you call "chest pounding" and self castration, in my judgment, the former is preferable. The latter is not reversible.
Steve would probably say those two things are not mutually exclusive. I would disagree as I have never seen anyone who even figuratively partook of the latter reverse such disfigurement. I think once one's gone flowery it's flowery forever at least in this day and age. Heck, though, whatever floats your boat, it's none of my business. I can appreciate well designed court rugs and do.

Reflectively, Sue

Posted by Steve Price on 10-12-2006 03:07 PM:

Hi Sue



???? !!!!!!!

Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 10-12-2006 04:45 PM:

Sue, it's 'castigate', not 'castrate.' -- Tim

Posted by Sue Zimmerman on 10-12-2006 10:21 PM:

Well thank you, Tim! It wouldn't have occurred to me to go back and check that. I can stop worriying for Mark now. I've been laughing so hard I woke the parrot up and now he's downstairs, in the dark, laughing too. Sue

Posted by Mark Traxler on 10-16-2006 10:01 AM:


I think Sue was right, somehow, with her word choice. Castrate is appropo, though castigate also applies. I think I followed Sue's "reasoning." In the "flowery" department though, Sue has us all beat. As she says "once you go flowery you never go back." All for fun, and fun for all!

Posted by Richard Larkin on 10-16-2006 05:07 PM:

parrots can be dangerous

Hey Folks,

That was very fine distinction, Tim. I shudder to contemplate the full measure of what Sue's parrot might have to say about either castration or castigation.

My tastes and delectation in these things aren't nearly as refined as others'. Over the weekend, I visited a couple of the "cottages" at Newport, Rhode Island, those extravagant summer places built by the captains of industry to demonstrate their nearly limitless capacities for excess and conspicuous consumption. Those houses tend to be filled with 19th century rugs, mostly urban persian and frequently oversized. One is apt to find large Bijars, Sultanabad types such as Sarouks and Feraghans (the latter with the slightly corroded green borders), Khorrassans, Tabrizes, the usual suspects. A few are graphically eye-popping, but a lot of them are pretty standard herati and repeating boteh patterns. I guess some could be described as boring, but I am always delighted to see them. The colors are good, and even though many of them are pedestrian in design, they show a certain level of quality and attention to detail that never fails to give some interest or pleasure. I guess that's how I was raised in rugs.

Rich Larkin

Posted by Sue Zimmeman on 10-16-2006 08:08 PM:

You sure are right about parrots, Richard. I shudder to think what this one thinks about anything. He loves to eat chicken so he's nothing but a cannibal. Not a good mix with rugs, either, by the way, and he can pick any lock. Anyone who collects rugs, count yourselves warned. Learn to live without a parrot. They bite really, really hard, too. Richard it sounds like you had a blessed upbringing. I bet your parents didn't almost bring a loin home as a pet like mine did. Sue