Hi Patrick and all,
Whew! You should have
sent someone else for these Hali images from the 1989 Tanavoli article
(HALI 45) on Shahsavan pile weavings. Thanks to some timely assistance
from our sitemaster, Steve, I was able to manage the following. The
reported wide variety of styles in the greater Shahsavan portfolio is
illustrated very well by Parvizís examples. It should be noted that his
attributions were somewhat tentative, which seems to be the case across
the board in this group. Iíve scanned about half of the images he
The first one, attributed tentatively to the Khamseh
area, is quite believable as Shahsavan, with the two-tailed, no-head birds
one might expect on a flatwoven piece. Tanavoliís image was of a nice
double bag covering a two page spread in HALI, but the central joint was
buried in the binding of the magazine, so I was limited to the one
Another Khamseh would probably
pass as Kurdish for many observers. He reported double wool wefts dyed
Tanavoli said that the structure
from all areas was similar, with very soft wool, flexible weave, and
typically, double wefts of light to medium red, occasionally natural.
However, he noted that some Khamseh area pieces were single
Two pieces attributed to the Moghan area seem quite
different between them. The khorjin face is familiar, and a number of
similar pieces have appeared in the market in recent years, often
attributed to the Shahsavan. The long rug is hardly believable as a pile
piece, though the analysis makes clear that it is in pile.
Another small bagface
attributed to the area of Saveh would probably have qualified as a mystery
rug on Turkotek had Parviz not illuminated the question. Apparently it
varies between one or two shots of weft between rows, an unusual feature
in any rug.
Two pieces attributed to
ďNorthwest PersiaĒ (I thought they were all from there!) line up very well
with the idea that many Shahsavan are ďCaucasian-esque,Ē the khorjin being
reminiscent of a larger diagonally striped rug posted earlier by
I thought I would post the two rugs proposed as Shahsavan candidates by
Jenny Housego in Tribal Rugs (1979) (first image) and John Thompson in
Carpet Magic (1983).
Patrick had already posted
the latter, but I thought the color in my scan was about 3.17% more
saturated, so I went with it.
I find it interesting that
Thompsonís attribution to the Shahsavan in 1983 was very tentative (as was
Housegoís); but in 1996, HALI was stating emphatically that a similar rug
sold at Skinner was not Anatolian, but Shahsavan. One wonders whether they
had verified the attribution independently by then, or whether it was a
case of Thompsonís speculation developing legs.
in the article why it was that there had been a sudden cessation of pile
weaving by the Shahsavan in 1910. He noted that the few examples he could
confidently attribute to them from the late 19th century were masterfully
woven, and that they were continually surrounded by renowned pile weavers,
such as the Kurds, the Afshars, and Southern Caucasian weavers.
Ultimately, he was unable to explain it, though their output of high
quality flatwoven material continued apparently unabated after 1910. A
revival of pile weaving occurred among some of them in 1950 in the form of
the rugs marketed, rather successfully, as Meshkin and Ardebil.
so thrilled at having finally got the goldarned images under control, I
may take a run at the remaining ones.