He said that a good analog is the event
at a carnival or county fair where a person guesses you age and weight,
within narrow limits, from your physical appearance. In this
“rug potpourri” Jerry said, it would be his task to make a
first attempt at suggesting where a given piece was likely woven.
The audience was invited to disagree or supplement Jerry’s
Jerry also invited questions. His practice, he added, would be to
answer those that he could, commenting, as he did so, on their
sagacity, but to suggest that any that he could not answer were simply inappropriate questions. :-)
Jerry brought some pieces and a number of additional interesting things
were brought in by participants. With two exceptions, I can show
you only pieces that belong to Jerry, since I don’t have
permission to put the others up on the internet.
I was a little late for this session and so was sitting back a bit and
the photos I took mostly suffer from the distance at which they were
taken. Rugs soak up light and tend to be darker and reveal less
of their designs at a distance. Still there are things here
likely worth sharing.
One piece brought in by participants, that I have permission to show you, is this very unusual Afshar bag below.
Jerry’s Afshar attribution was not
debated and the audience joined him in saying that they could not
remember something similar. Here’s a little closer image.
As I indicated above, such a piece soaks up light and these two images
do not do it justice. But you can see the playful asymmetry that
The first of Jerry’s pieces is the Luri bag face below.
It has silky wool. Gordon Priest suggested from the audience that it is likely the side panel of a mafrash-type cargo bag.
Jerry’s second piece was a Turkmen kalyk, a rarish format.
Kalyks are wedding decorations used in the front of the bridal camel or
litter. Most seem attributed to the Tekke. Jerry said that
this one was once offered to the TM, but that the TM had declined to
accept since they felt they had a better one. The result of that
refusal is that it came Jerry’s way. (Again, the details of
the design on this piece do not come through in this image.
Jourdan’s Plate 91 is similar.)
The next piece was also Tekke Turkmen and also on the rare side.
This torba is unusual in that its field has three full and six half
guls, something that occurs infrequently in Turkmen rugs in general,
but that is seen most often on Salor, Saryk and Tekke pieces with large
turreted “Salor” guls. It also occurs on some
Arabatchi bags with chuval guls. Such a Tekke usage on a torba
with the larger torba guls is pretty rare.
The next piece is the second brought in by an audience member. It is a small Tekke rug that he inherited recently.
This piece resembles some smaller sized
Tekke pieces that occur in great numbers and that we often call
“wedding rugs.” This one has the small white ground
border stripe on both ends that some think is a Soviet era indicator.
Jerry’s next piece was this small, squarish mat.