Posted by R. John Howe on 05-11-2005 11:41 AM:

Harold Keshishian at TM, Safs 7 and 8

Dear folks -

The seventh saf that Harold presented was attributed to Yarkand in East Turkestan. It has five places.

It is silk and in very poor condition. There may be good reason for that, since it is possibly 250 years old.

It has very simple drawing, but that of the top of the niched compartments has for me a nice, seemingly archaic "feel."

The piece has an interesting lime green color in the fields. I have "played" with the saturation of the actual colors to try to give you a sense of them.

The eighth saf Harold presented was also from East Turkestan, this time from Samarkand. It provides nine places.

East Turkestan was, of course, directly on the Silk Road and despite its remoteness, synthetic dyes got to weavers there quickly.

Harold said that this rug was predominantly purple when it came off the loom. The dyes were mostly entirely fugitive and, excepting for a little blue and brown, the piece has faded to white.

He said that "white Samarkands" like this were once quite sought after in the trade. Apparently good prices could be had for them from interior designers.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 05-11-2005 11:59 AM:

Hi John

Number 8 looks to have been intended for decorative use. Each compartment is about the width of Harold's head; much too narrow to accommodate a person kneeling in prayer.


Steve Price

Posted by R. John Howe on 05-11-2005 12:14 PM:

Steve -

Yes, I think these compartments are too small to pray upon.

They are a little wider than the photo suggests, since Harold is standing perhaps four-six feet away from the board on which they are pinned.

But I think he would agree that this piece was woven for decorative purposes.


R. John Howe