October 12th, 2011, 01:29 AM   1
Patrick Weiler

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 32

This piece is described as a "cradle" and the design features indicate a likely SW Persian Khamseh production. These cradles are not common. From the wear at the corners and in the field, you could imagine that they did not survive too many babies and few remained intact to make it to market.
It is 31" wide by 39" long. 78x96cm
It is a delight for tassel lovers. The tassels make it impractical for floor use, although it is possible that these pieces were used on the floor in the west. All four corners have damage, a clue that shows it was hung from the corners when in use.

Here is the back, showing that it is not a "reversible" fabric:

It is constructed, from the top, of round braided ends from gathered warps, then two-color chained rows divided by rows of twining.
As the chained rows turn into columns at the sides, the construction of these vertical borders is vexing. I have not determined how they are made.
Then, a border with two rows of pick and pick two-color bands and triangles of diagonal-wrapping.
Next are two more rows of twining and then the major S border with diagonal wrapping and soumak S designs.
Then comes another triangle border.

Countered soumak and diagonal wrapping outline the field of diamonds floating in a lattice of dark-blue on a red plain-weave ground. The whites are cotton.

This is the back of the S border:

And the back of the field:

In case you think that this is just a one-off design, guess again. Here are a couple more pieces of chanteh-size with the same S border and likely Khamseh origin. They both have the unusual vertical columns at the sides. Here is the face of the first piece:

And the reverse:

Here you can see the chained row turning into the unusual vertical column:

And the countered soumak field, along with the complementary-weft white flowers below:

The final piece is another chanteh, with both faces in flatweave of different designs. The upper face has the same totemic weapon-like objects in a dark blue countered soumak field as the piece above, and the lower face is a chevron design.

This is the reverse:

And this shows a closer view of the upper half, from the back:

These three pieces exhibit a number of similarities, including the odd vertical two-color columns which originate from chained horizontal rows and the enigmatic S border which has also been found in what have been ascribed to Afshar and also Khamseh weavers. I would call them "S" Group weavings, but that moniker has already been taken by some minor-league, inexpensive Turkmen weavings.

Patrick Weiler