Posted by Bob Kent on 11-28-2006 10:51 AM:


Here is a "Transylvanian" turkish prayer rug fragment, really about 2/3 of an old rug. It has a little more wear than the church rugs! The upper left portion and bottom border of the rug are original, and look darker; the old rug was rebuilt with a brighter synthetic red around these old parts, perhaps these repairs are 20th C. It came from the estate of a Hungarian immigrant to the US, so the rug may have originally been acquired near Transylvania (Transylvania is now in NW Romania bordering Hungary, but was part of the Hungarian part of Austro-Hungary until WW1, and a portion of its multiethnic population is Hungarian). A similar rug is shown at the end of the Ferenc Battari article in Hali 3/2, inscribed about 1725. One lazy line which changes the weft from red to tan seems to correspond to the edge of the red mihrab (image of back), so perhaps lazy lines were used to have more of the foundation color match the pile, allowing a better look after the rug has some wear?

Posted by Horst Nitz on 11-30-2006 02:52 AM:

Hello Bob,

yes, a “Transylvanian” type Turkish prayer rug I would call it – but not a church rug, unless some ruthless late owner has desecrated it onto the floor. I have gone through the catalogue looking for matching pieces. There is none exactly corresponding, but the border of the rug you are presenting echoes some in the catalogue. Stefano Ionescu’s book should be worth checking for more information.

Your rug shows a number of oddities. The main and guard borders seem extraordinarily wide in comparison with related rugs in the catalogue; upper and lower guard borders seem to refuse to bow to the rule of symmetry. You are referring to another rug of same type, dated 1725. If I compare the rug you present on the scale of naturalistic and curvilinear design vs. abstract and angular with the few rugs in the catalogue dated to the beginning of the 18th century, it would appear that your (?)rug is later.

… I could not find the issue of Hali you mention here at home. It might surface later in the office, and I can perhaps come back on it tonight or tomorrow …

About the lazy lines I would not know. Perhaps your rug is a training sample from the workshop of Theodor Tuduc, on which they have tried a few tricks?



Posted by Bob Kent on 11-30-2006 07:28 AM:

Horst: Thanks... here's a poor image of the hali 3/2 rug from a museum in Miskolc, NE Hungary, that appears on the last page of Battari article. It may not be clear from my poor copy (and the original hali image was small, B/W, fuzzy), but the outer guard border of the Miskolc rug in Hali are different on the sides of the rug versus the top and bottom of the rug, as on my reconstructed rug. Actually, the design of top and bottom outer guard borders appears to be the same on both rugs: slanted lines. The main borders also seem similar.

My rug is heavily recontructed including the foundation, only about 2/3 of the surface is original founation. Moreover there are only small original areas of original foundation along the top and bottom of the rug. But there are clear enough original areas along all sides to see that the reconstructed outer guard borders match the original. There is also some flatwoven parts left in one corner (lower right)

I think my rug is old, not Tuduc, whose rugs apparently did not have lazy lines (there are several lazy lines in the original part of my rug, none in the reconsturcted areas)

Whoever reconstructed the rug went to great lengths to match the original design using the fragment. However, the red dye sued in the reconstruction doesn't match at all... I assume that it this red is a synthetic that changed with time -- seems odd to do all this work with a clearly non-matching color.

In person, the difference between the reds is less striking than in images (digital cameras seem to go crazy with reds).

Posted by Bob Kent on 11-30-2006 09:58 AM:

other rugs with wide borders

Ionescu's book is great, but some other published rugs are more similar to my rug than the ones in it, here are a few from Berlin (B-W) and Budapest (color)...

Posted by Horst Nitz on 11-30-2006 03:41 PM:

Hello Bob,

I found my issue of Hali. The rug looks less yellow here – shall we call it a chameleon rug? I am teasing, just as I was on the Tuduc issue. This is a funny little story that Jürg Rageth related in his presentation (see further up in the salon), or at least his version of it:

Some time after the unmasking of another west Anatolian or Transylvanian rug as a fake – this time a Chintamani / Selendi, the rug collecting owner of a German pharmaceutical company presented a rather nice but half-reconstructed Selendi rug to a Swiss company at its anniversary. When it surfaced 25 years later from its hiding place behind a blackboard in a conference room, it was met with interest and some suspicion, and subjected to thin layer chromatography. It turned out to be an honest albeit partially reconstructed very old rug. The irony may be, that the former owner, sensitised by the unmasking of those fakes, may have departed from his suspected and hold for being worthless rug by politely bestowing it on a competing company.



p.s. I have to correct myself on the issue of those borders. Indeed, on several other rugs they seem to be in XXL format; the refusal of those border solutions to bow to the rule of symmetry seems not restricted to your rug only, rather seems structural, with an idea behind it. The rug in the Hali article looks almost identical on that score.

Posted by Bob Kent on 11-30-2006 05:03 PM:

First, thanks for the salon, I used to teach in Budapest and have spent a few great trips in Transylvania... nice people up there, and the mountains, architecture, cities, etc., are amazing. But my rug came from Pennsylvania, not Transylvania, and it was so dirty that I thought it was two rugs put together, not a big reconstruction around a bigger fragment.

Sorry about the yellowed image I put here of the Miskolc rug form hali 3/2. It is only given a small picture in Hali, and the yellow picture here at least gives the idea...

Also, there is a great article about the history and culture of Transylvania by John Lukacs, who grew up in Budapest, entitled "In Darkest Transylvania" and included in his book "Destinations Past."

Posted by John Paterson on 12-15-2006 02:00 AM:

Hi Bob,
I was always facinated by transylvanian rugs and the rams head borders. I had acquired several pieces over the years but I have divested most of them now. Two of them were "tuduc". One of the ways to spot a tuduc is to look at how the selvages are attached to the rug. In a tuduc it is different to the original.

Here is a couple of original pieces a prayer rug ( Bottom border was rewoven) and another long rug with the rams head border. I divested the prayer rug about 8 months ago to get some turkoman pieces.


Posted by Bob Kent on 12-15-2006 06:52 AM:

"One of the ways to spot a tuduc is to look at how the selvages are attached to the rug. In a tuduc it is different to the original."

thanks, what is the difference in how the selvages are attached? do you agree with the idea that tuduc rugs did not have lazy lines?

Posted by John Paterson on 12-15-2006 08:35 AM:

Hi Bob,
I have attached pictures showing how the selvages were usually attached on Tuduc rugs and normal transylvanian rugs. The two tuduc examples are from a bird ushak which I divested and a 16th Century Ottoman Prayer rug which I still have in my collection, the latter was made around 1860's so it is before tuduc's time but is still classfied as tuduc.

I have not come accross lazy lines in the tuduc pieces I have seen.

I suppose tuduc was a bit like the people from panderma who copied the early ghiordes rugs in late 19th century.


Posted by Bob Kent on 12-15-2006 10:09 PM:

thanks that's interesting. fwiw, my fragment doesn't seem to have that vertical line in the selvege.