Posted by R. John Howe on 05-12-2005 08:51 AM:

Harold Keshishian at TM, Safs 9 and 10

Dear folks -

Here are the last two safs Harold presented from his own collection.

Harold said that the piece above is Caucasian without being more specific than that.

He said that, Charlie Ellis, the late rug scholar noted, looking at this piece, that the weaver did not know how to rotate the animal designs in it 90 degrees.

It is estimated to have been woven about 1870.

Saf 10 is an all silk Turkish piece likely woven in the Kayseri area.

I have played with colors on this piece because it suffers from the effects of water damage.

I think two-place safs are relatively rare. I posted an image of a Caucasian one a few months ago, but can't find it in my photo archives at the moment. Maybe Filiberto might have it.

This piece elicted a discussion meaning of the lamps that appear in some safs and other prayer designs. Harold indicated approximately what Peter Stone does in his "Oriental Rug Lexicon."

"...The motif may refer to hanging lamps in mosques or serve as a symbol of God who is described in the Koran as 'the light of the heavens and the earth'".


R. John Howe

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-12-2005 10:08 AM:

Hi John,

Here it is:

You wrote about it: The border on the right is the bottom of this rug and is the one that the weaver started with.

At the time Mr. Kaffel sent also two more photos of Caucasian Safs (but with five panels each). If you want them, let me know.



Posted by Lloyd Kannenberg on 05-12-2005 11:27 AM:

May I ask the approximate dimensions of these last two safs? Thanks!

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-12-2005 01:56 PM:

Hi Lloyd,

I think you refer to the ones John posted at the beginning of this thread
In any case, if you want to know also the dimensions of the “Lesghi” Saf above, it’s 3 feet, 10 inches (120 cm) X 4 feet, 7 inches (140 cm).


Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-12-2005 02:18 PM:

I also would be interested to know the dimensions of the Kayseri rug.
To tell the truth, it seems more a “multiple columns” prayer rug than a real Saf.
It looks too narrow…
Then, Safs have niches perpendicular to the width, not to the length of a rug.


Posted by R. John Howe on 05-12-2005 07:38 PM:

Lloyd, Filiberto -

I don't have the precise dimensions of the silk Kayseri rug but it is in the 3 X 5, maybe closer to 4 X 6, range.

The first Caucasian saf in this thread with five places is sizable. Again I didn't measure, but think each compartment is about 3 X 4 or a little more.


R. John Howe