Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-04-2006 02:11 PM:

two curious ensis

Bonsoir à tous

Last weeks, on ebay, two ensi went to the light with special design. The two ensis were from different sellers but were curiously linked by some details of the design.

The first one were presented as a "beloutch" ensi. The general design is not standard with two niches upside down and no "bird" design in the quartered field. In place of the classical design we find well drawn animalhead medalions. This ensi mesured 150x112 cm. Assymetric knot open to the left. General color scheme more beloutch than turkmen. Special motif in the field border : one square with a kind of hourglass.

The second ensi was a fragmented rug with no original ends and selvedges. The composition is more classical with th standard bird motif in the quartered field. Detail shared with the first one : the field border with the same unknown design. No techn. datas recorded. 4x6 feet

Those two "ensis" inspire some questions :

- did beloutch make ensis ? I suppose not, no recorded example known.
- could those rugs be "hybrid" rugs, that is to say made by a turkmen weaver who can be married in a non turkmen tribe (for ex beloutch). ? In this case those rugs could be made just for the trade.
- where can we find ex of the same "hourglass" motif that can give us some thread for identifying the origin of thos two rugs.

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 06-05-2006 07:40 AM:

Hi Louis,

Is it an ensi ? Can't say for sure but it's in a similar category. Is it Baluchi ? Can't say for certain because I don't have the provenance documented, but up close, it looks like Baluchi work to me:

See Johns archived discussion for a broader look at the topic:

Central Asian Attribution Puzzle

Chuck Wagner

Chuck Wagner

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-05-2006 08:02 AM:

third one

Bonjour Chuck

The rug you dispayed is the third of the same type, very near to the second ensi found on Ebay.
Where does it come from ? Also from Ebay ?

If the baloutchi origin is confirmed and as those peoples use to leave under black tents and not under yurts we can suppose that those rugs were made just for trade. But was it an intertribe trade or a trade for export ?


Posted by Steve Price on 06-05-2006 08:15 AM:

Hi People

Here are the images for Louis' first post:


Steve Price

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-05-2006 09:35 AM:


hello Chuck

The general design of those "ensi" is largely imitated from a standard Tekke model. The white ground field border can be seen as a simplification of a standard Tekke border, in the same position, but with four crossed bars in place of the two of this ensi.
In the three "ensi" the same special motif is used on the main field borders and in the central bar of the central cross of the field.
This hourglass motif with eight small white squares included in a square seems to be well drawn and balanced. For me this type of motif can be interpretated as the tribe signature of the weavers who made those rugs. I have not found any ex of the same motif among my doc on baloutchi weavings or from any other origin.
The only motif that could have something in common is a motif discribed by P. Stone as Kagizman (anatolian motifs A 98, page 86). Stone says that it could be Kurdish. This motif is more complex than the one of the three ensis, but the center is quite the same, with an hourglas shape and six stars.

The other particular design shared by the three ensis is the secondary vertical borders of the central bar : alternated triangles with contrasted colours.

The general palette of the first Ebay ensi is typically baloutch. The second is less Baloutch with the use of more red (but the picture is not very good), the Chuck's ensi is near to the first and looks baloutchi too.

We can find in some baloutchi productions some design that share the same style, but not with the exact same figures (Boucher's plate 16 is a good ex, a balisht from Khorassan, Torbat e Haidari, Khaf Valley area).

The four animal head hooked medalions in the double niche ensi are very interesting. This type of motif can be seen in some balutchi rugs (in Boucher, for ex, plate 9 and 22) but not exactly with the same shape and composition. The cited rugs are also from Khorassan (noth east Persia)

Bonne journée à tous


Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-05-2006 11:27 AM:


Hi again

One thing I have not noticed : those ensis lack of Bovrek motifs the long of the central bar of the hatchlu central field. The reciprocate triangles borders take place of the bovrek motifs.

There is no known ensi attributed to the Tekke without bovrek motifs. And the tekke bovrek has a quite complicate design.

Bovrek motifs in Salor ensis and in Yomut ensis are more simple than Tekke and are made with three red and blue triangles. Here we have a continuous bar of triangles. We can suppose that this bar of triangles is the interpretation by the weaver of the Salor/Yomut bovrek motifs, seen as a continuous band in place of the discontinuous set of bovrek motifs, and in place of the tekke bovrek that was too complicated to reproduce. So this ensi design could be a hybrid between Tekke and Salor/Yomut design.

This fact can be interpretated as the evidence that the weaver did not know the real usage and signification of the bovrek motifs as discontinuous devices and have drawn the nearer shape in her own vocabulary : a border with alternate triangles.

The area where those ensis might be done could be an area where the weaver's contemporary neighbours were Tekke and Yomut (Salor are too old). Northeast Persia could be a good gess, and why not Khorassan.

Bonne journée à tous

Posted by Louis Dubreuil on 06-05-2006 12:36 PM:

more pictures

Here are pictures that can illustrate my words.

The first one is of the Boucher's book balisht, plate 16. Described as Balouchi balisht, Jan Begi, from Northeast paersia, Khorassan, Torbat e Haidari, Khaf valley area (1'7"x2'8")

I find some details in this weaving near in style with the "ensis" : the triangular devices in the main border, with tiny white squares, is near of the hourglass motif rendition, and the inner field border with triangles is also near of the one of the "ensis".

The general palette, except the central camel field, is also near of the two darkers "ensis".

The second one is a picture of a yomut ensi from the book A WORLD OF CARPETS AND TEXTILES (Murray L. Eiland Jr., ICOC 2003), page 185, plate 18.

We can see on this ensi what I said about the Bovrek motif : here the triangles are gathered by group of three making disjoined trapeziums. If we complete the lacking triangles between two Bovreks we can obtain the continuous triangle border used in the baloutchi "ensis".

That's all folks, for this evening !


Posted by Fred Rosenblatt on 06-05-2006 02:02 PM:

Maybe we can check with Jack Cassin on this one. I seem to recall that the Khans brought in Baluch strikebreakers during the big weaving strike of 1809 - 1810 at the Turkmen workshops. Maybe these are from that workshop :-)

Posted by Tim Adam on 06-06-2006 08:38 PM:

Hi Louis,

Do you have the book "Wie Blumen in der Wueste"? The hourglass motif is used on an engsi, which has been attributed to the Abdal. See plate 59.



Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-08-2006 02:41 AM:

wie blumen

Bonjour Tim

Thank you for the information. Unfortunatly, and despite the aboundance of my rug books collection, I have not this book. I suppose it is the books of the ICOC of Hamburg. I have searched it on the net, but it is a very expensive one. Could you please scan the plate and the text and post them here ? .

Amicales salutations


Posted by James Blanchard on 06-08-2006 04:24 PM:

Hi Louis,

Here is another example of those triangular motifs to which you refer in the Jan Begi Balouch Balisht. On this Baluch (I think, "Jan Begi" too), they are used in a different way.


Posted by Tim Adam on 06-08-2006 05:09 PM:

In my opinion these triangular devices in the two Balouch pieces posted so far are too different to make a plausible case that they could be related to the hourglass motif. I will try to make a scan of the Abdal engsi I mentioned previously.


Posted by Tim Adam on 06-08-2006 07:40 PM:

Hi Louis,

Here are the scans from "Wie Blumen in der Wueste." The first piece is the Abdal engsi.

The next piece is from the same book, and attributed to the Eagle II group. The caption relates the hourglass motive to Turkmen jewelry.

The next asmalyk is published by Loges.

Loges notes the unusual border, and mentions that an engsi with a similar border, attributed to the Arabatschi, has been published in Schuermann, 1969, Zentralasiatische Teppiche, No. 26). Unfortunately, I don't have this book.

It is interesting that here we have a device that does not seem to be shared among many tribes. Initially, it reminded me of the border of another Arabatschi engsi. It's not the same, but seems related.



Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-09-2006 03:48 AM:

triangles and hourglass

Bonjour Tim

Two things :

first : when we make references to the triangles in the respective design ensi/beloutch it is only about the triangle border that outline the central post of the quartered field. Those triangles have nothing to do with the hourglass motifs. The link between ensi hourglass and beloutch ex. works only with the triangle devices adorned with tiny white squares that appears in the border of the boteh beloutch rug I have cited.

second : the pictures you posted are not visible (just little red cross squares)



Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-09-2006 05:39 AM:

loges asmalyk

Hello Tim

You've got the eye. The Loges' Yomut asmalyk plate 45 has exactly the same hourglass motif in the main border.

The hypothesis of a relation between this motif and a piece of jewelery can be a good guess but it is a little short. I think we can surely make the link with an amuletic device : much of amuletic devices in turkmen culture, and even in turkish culture are made of triangular shapes adorned with pendants. The hourglass device is made of two mirored single triangles with three pendants. The two lateral tiny white squares are placed here only for easthetic balance in order to complete the square shape generated by the symetry of the figure.

It is interesting to see this device used by yomut, even if this is not an usual motif.

The folowing picture, from Shürmann (Oriental carpets, plate 85) shows an anatolian prayer rug from Melas area featuring a quite near amuletic device in the field.

Meilleures salutations


Posted by LOUIS_DUBREUIL on 06-09-2006 07:32 AM:


Just an info about the pictures in the precedent post. I have added two pictures of a central anatolian prayer rug (may be Konya Area) I have in my stocks. In the field of this rug we can see two big devices that feature the triangle figure with four pendants. This motif is clearly identified in turkish design litterature as AMULET.

The pictures in Tim's post are very interesting as they show several ex of the hourglass motif from diferent tribes.

I think the trhee ensis at the origin of this post can be seen as the product of an hybridation of designs from different tribes. The graphic estate from whitch the hourglass motif is issued being the turkmen/turkish graphic vocabulary estate shared by all the turkmen and neighbour tribes.

The question is : doe's this hybridation is just a workshop artifact, or the result of inter-tribe marriages ?



Posted by Steve Price on 06-09-2006 08:51 AM:

Bonjour Louis

I'm not sure anyone can tell the difference between a motif that's a hybrid of two pre-existing motifs, a result of normal evolution in form from pre-existing forms, or something within the range of variations that a particular weaver might have generated. Because of this uncertainty, I don't think it gets us anywhere to wonder whether it arose from intertribal marriage or was a workshop artifact.

Just for amusement, consider the borders of these asmalyks (two are from Tim's earlier post; the other belongs to me):

Obviously, the three have a lot in common. I think you'll agree that it wouldn't take much to morph the "bow-and-arrow" motif on the first to the "hourglass" motif on the others. In fact, the side borders of the third one show what could easily be the intermediate form. But I don't see any way to put teeth into arguing in favor of any particular mechanism for evolution (difffusion and normal variation, tribal intermarriage, etc.) or even for arguing that there is strong evidence that we are looking at an evolution. It's interesting, of course.


Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 06-09-2006 02:23 PM:

Hi Louis,

You wrote, "I think the trhee ensis at the origin of this post can be seen as the product of an hybridation of designs from different tribes. The graphic estate from whitch the hourglass motif is issued being the turkmen/turkish graphic vocabulary estate shared by all the turkmen and neighbour tribes. The question is : doe's this hybridation is just a workshop artifact, or the result of inter-tribe marriages?"

I agree with Steve that this might be a little much to ask. In my opinion, all we can say at this point is

I don't think the 'hourglass' motive is a commercial invention, because the engsi and the asmalyks that I posted above seem to be genuine tribal pieces.



Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-10-2006 05:54 PM:


Bonsoir à tous

to conclude this thread I am going to try to resume arguments :

First, we have the evidence, through some ex of "good" items from Yomut and arabatchi, that the hourglass motif is used also by Turkmens. As we can see in known weavings this item is scarcely used. Could it be a "family" signature ? Unfortunatly I think we shall never have the begining of an answer.
We can also make the reverse hypothesis : Turkmen weavers using a baloutch design. but we have to find some Baloutch ex of this design used in a genuine rug, not in a Turkmen copy.
Second : this motif seems to be well stabilized, with very few variants (in the second asmalyk from Loges we can see some diferences at the base of some triangles of the hourglass, just some knots of an other colour, nothing very different), and it seems also well used by the weavers, without faults in the corners. This design is not an invention just made for the trade.
Third : this design is to be included in the family of "amuletic" triangular devices largely used in the turkmen/turkish estate but also in iranian vocabulary : Opie tells that there are numerous stylistic links betwwen Baloutch and other iranian tribes as Luri and Bakthiari : Baloutch are from iranian origin. Opie shows a Luri bag with a very near hourglass motif (fig 8.8 and 8.9). So the field remains open for finding the origin of this motif.
Fourth : two of the "ensis" have hudge baloutchi look (structure, palette). All are well drawn, with no errors. They share details from diferent turkmen groups. They look as ensis, but some details are quite odd : no bovrek but just a line of triangles, simplified "cross" border, animal head medalions in place of the classical kuç motif, mirored niche...
Fifth : Baloutch groups use to live more frequently under black tents than under yurts (Opie) . There is no know ex of a genuine Balouthi ensi.
Sixth : Baloutch are known for their frequent and numerous copies of turkmen motifs (Opie in his chapter about Balouth). The weaving was an essential economical practice for all theses groups and the succes of the Turkmen's products has incitated other groups to copy the turkmen style to folow the market mainstream (so did the Kurds also). But those copies where made with strong remnents of the Baloutch style.
Seventh : the presence of the hourglass motif both in Yomut weavings and in those "ensis" makes to think that this could be the result of a geographical proximity between the model and the copyists (whatever be the model and the copy). So a Khorassan origin for thos "ensis" could be a good guess as it is the area where contacts could be very likely between Yomut and Baloutch.

The three ensis could likely be Khorassan Baloutch copies of turkmen ensis made for trade with some design freedom from the models.

The intermarriage guess seems to be some "trade" invention made in order to explain rug oddities.

Bonne soirée à tous


Posted by Steve Price on 06-20-2006 01:37 PM:

Hi Folks

Don't pay any attention to this post. It's just to remind me not to delete this thread, to which Louis intends to add posts after June 25.


Steve Price

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 06-27-2006 02:31 PM:

another curious ensi

Bonsoir à tous

This is the following of the thread.
Often the chance is well done. Some days after the discussion we had about those curious ensi, an other one apeared on Ebay, sold by dealer's name deleted.


As we can see on the pictures the design is of the same type of the three others, and it features a double niche as one of the three, but with a classical kuch motif in it. Note that the two fields with the kuchs are in the same direction and not drawn with a symmetry horizontal axis.

The main curious characteristic is the large use of cotton in the structure of the rug.

Dealer's name deleted said in his notice "Structurally, this weaving has ivory cotton wefts, two shoots between rows of knots and warps of undyed cotton and lite caramel brown camel hair, one strand each, plied together and it is simply overcasted around two thick warp bundles with heavy goat or horse hair, natural dark brown in color,..... The warp endings are twisted and braided together in groups of two and three". The knot is as open to the left.

Dealer's name deletedshowed this ensi to some rug friends at the last ACOR and gave differents guesses about it. First guess : "Taimani sub-group of the Charhar Aimaq who inhabited the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan during the 2nd half of the 19th century", second guess "Arabatchi Turkmen of the Amu darya area".

As he said in his notice, Taimani are not known for using cotton, but arabatchi used it. But he has said that he does'nt know any Arabatchi or balutchi rug with this type of selvedge.

The more remarquable in our case is that we have the same type of design with two different weaving structure. One of the ensi I have sown seems also to have cotton in it and has a general aspect and palette very near of the dealer name deleted one.


The two others seem to have a more balutchi (maybe taimani, why not) look.



The similarity of design and details makes to think at a standardized and commercial production.

One explanation of this fact is that those ensis could have been made in a road settelment or a village inhabited by at least two groups of weavers which have developped and shared one commercial type of ensis from an exinsting model (to be found in some turkmen group) or from an hybrid workshop design.
An other guess is that there were two distinct groups or villages on the same road but at some distance. One of the group one day has made a new commercial model of ensi, with a good success. The second group had also its own workshops and copied the first, but with its own technic and material.

This commercial hypothesis could also work with an other hypothesis about the real use of this type of rug : it is quite unlikely that those rugs were bought for the original use of a yurt door. Who could imagine a Turkmen man on trip on the road buying an erzatz ensi and bringing it back to his family yurt ? But if we suppose that those rugs were simply made as prayer rugs (and the little format of two of them fits with that, 150x112, 153x122) every muslim could buy them. I think one indice of this prayer rug use could be found in the particular colour sheme in the kuch design of the dealer name deleted ensi : the light red in the center of each kuch motif makes like a littlle hand, hand motif being frequently found on prayer rugs.

And amulet motifs are also quite curent in prayer rug design.

Thats all folks, till one other comes to the air next week !

Amicales salutations à tous


Posted by Jack Williams on 06-27-2006 03:49 PM:

funeral carpet?

Jerry Anderson held that baluch "double ended" prayer rugs were in actuallity funeral covers for the deceased. This is sourced from what my brother has told me, and also it was apparently included in the famous interview by Tom Cole, published in Hali. In that interview he mentioned "looking for little loops in the corners" that would have held the funeral rug down. Perhaps this was the intended function of these type rugs, especially if they are baluch.

Jack Williams

Posted by Louis_Dubreuil on 07-02-2006 06:47 AM:

Another Odd Ensi

Dear Turkotekers

In the post about "two curious" ensi, I was showing ensis with a "tekke" niche and no bovrek motifs on each sides of the central post, and I said that there was not known tekke ensi without bovrek motifs.

One or two weeks later one ensi appeared on Ebay, with a general "tekke" look, but without bovrek motifs !

This ensi seems to belong to a small group of tekke ensis of which we can find some examples in rug litterature.

The first one is in the Loges' sbook Turkmen rugs (plate 4). This example is described as a first half of XIX piece. It is obvioulsly old as the palette and the clear design show.
The lateral candelabra/animal head/post are beautifuly drawn, with a clear totemic aspect.

The second is from the Jourdan's book, plate 60. The design is near of the Loges's ex, but with a more conventionalized drawing. The kuch motifs are drawn in the same way than the lateral candelabras wich are less rich and subtil in design than the Loges's ex. The two elems are the same than in Loges.

The two others are from the net (one from Ebay several years ago, and the other I suppose from Cloudband). Except for the palette those two are near of the Jourdan's ex.

The ensi at the origin of this post has two very special details.

First the central post of the field without bovrek motifs

Second the lower elem panel : I have never saw this design in a Tekke rug.

This example is interesting because it asks question about the so called tribal "invariance" in design, especially among tekke who seems to be champion in design standardisation

Meilleures salutations à tous

Posted by Tim Adam on 07-16-2006 09:38 PM:

Hi Louis,

I completely missed your post. Sorry. Just saw it now by accident.

Just had a thought about the motive in the lower elem panel. It reminds me of the secondary gul of Salor gol chuvals. What do you think? A possible derivative, or something totally different?



Posted by Jack Williams on 07-17-2006 12:17 AM:

does this minor gul look similar?

Re: the last ensi...I cannot blow the picture up enough for a clear look at the elem. But I am wondering if it is some varient of the minor gul and/or border design of this chuval I own. Can you post a clearer picture of the elem? Edit...after I sent these pictures to Steve I found a close example of the elem design. See addedum below pictures of chuval. Regards, Jack Williams

The elem end design in the last ensi posted has a near identical representation on the kilem ends of a Tekke Khali pictured in Tzareva, Rugs and Carpets of Central Asia, p. 61, plate 30.

Regards, Jack Williams

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 07-17-2006 06:09 AM:

odd tekke ensi

Bonjour Jack and Tim

Jack, you have "the eye". Yes the Tzareva ex has the same motif in the elem of the rug, that is not an ensi. This rug is quite little, 109x152 cm, and seems a late tekke production with its great number of borders (last third of XIX°, said tzareva). But this is not an evidence for this ensi being also late.
This motif seems to be derivated from the salor tcharkh palak that is also composed of eight squares.

The second odd detail of this ensi is the lack of traditional bovreck motif on the sides of the central pole. Waiting for commentaries about this detail.

Amicales salutations à tous


PS : I have no more detailed pictures (files from ebay)

Posted by LOUIS_DUBREUIL on 07-26-2006 03:03 AM:


Bonjour à tous

Last weeks on Ebay appeared a other ensi of the same type discussed here in the begining of the post.
This rug is quite near in design of the others "belouch" ensis.

The dimensions are near of a classical ensi 122x133 cm. No technical datas avaiable (seems to be made of wool, and with a colour palette near of the belouch one).

Those pictures can complete the typology of this special type of rug of an uncertain origin.

Posted by Tim Adam on 07-27-2006 05:53 PM:

Hi Louis,

Did you notice, the Tekke engsi you posted last also has an unusual version of the Gopuz design in the main border? It has three prongs.

A similar piece is published in Turkoman Studies I (p.156), also with three prongs.

An indication of an earlier or later date?


Posted by Steve Price on 07-28-2006 09:22 AM:

Hi Tim

In a message that I blocked at the administrator queue, "Fred from LA" wanted to inform us that all the "Gopaz" style Tekke Engsi, the group to which this example belongs, have those three pronged motifs. Is he right? Who knows? But not many assertions that include the word "all", "always" or "never" turn out to be right.

"Fred's" message was blocked because
1. Its focus was on our ignorance and stupidity in not knowing this, and included the kind of ad hominem remarks and self-congratulations to which I've grown accustomed in Cassin's posts.
2. With rare exceptions, we don't permit people to post without giving their names. Not even those with NPD, despite their conviction that the rules that apply to others don't apply to them.

Anyway, I wondered what gopuz (your spelling) or gopaz ("Fred's" spelling) means, so I did a search for both terms with Google. Nothing even remotely relevant comes up for gopaz.

Gopuz, though, has two interesting meanings in western and central Asia. In Iran and Azerbaijan, it is a stringed instrument, like a lute, very similar to what we call a Turkish saz. You can see one (and a saz) at this site. If the name of the design comes to us from, say, a Persian merchant, that's probably what it means. In Turkmenistan, on the other hand, a gopuz is described a mouth harp. I wasn't able to find a picture of one, although I didn't look very hard.


Steve Price

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 07-28-2006 10:06 AM:


The description of the rug sold on EB, made references to the JC thesis about this design and the relation with the music instrument.

I am not very fan of this thesis. I think that, as it is a quite general rule about motif naming, this name has been given to this motif just because there was a resemblance between the U shape and the body of the string instrument GOPUZ.
I think the design is not just a stacking of a lot of Gopuz. And where are the strings ?
In my opinion we have better to look toward the James Opie's thesis and his totemic animal poles. We could name it "animal candelabra".

For the typology of this type of ensi there are three other ex in the Pinner's Turkoman studies I, pages 155,156, plates 333, 334, 335, this latter with the same detail as in the Ebay one, as have noticed Tim. Plate XIV in page 262 of the same book is the same rug than my first ex cited from Loges.

Amicales salutations


Posted by Tim Adam on 07-28-2006 11:29 AM:

Hi Louis and Steve,

'Gopuz' is the spelling used in Turkoman Studies I, but I am sure there are other spellings around. The Gopuz style Tekke engsis seem to be a rare group. Some of them have two prongs, some have three. The two really good pieces that Pinner shows (in terms of design articulation) have two prongs. They also look a lot older than the eBay piece. So, the three prongs may be a further 'development' of the original design.

While I see the resemblence between the Gopuz design and a lyre, I think a direct connection is far from obvious. Actually, isn't the Gopuz design basically the same as the ones used in the four center panels of engsis? They are simply connected by a vertical pole.

What is interesting is that this design seems to appear only on Tekke engsis, nowhere else.


Posted by Louis_Dubreuil on 07-28-2006 12:35 PM:

Hi Steve

some pictures of what I suppose you named mouth harp and that be named Jew's harp and in French guimbarde.

This is a litlle music instrument in which the sound is made from the vibration of a metal or hard wood blade hold in front of the open mouth, near the level of the teeth. The mouth cavity shape and the way the player use is breath modulate the sounds.

If the most of them are made of iron with a general shape of a lyra with the vibration blade in the middle, some others are made with a stick shape with a central blade. It appears from some sources that Turkmenistan mouth harps could be of this second form with no "lyra " look.



Posted by Steve Price on 07-28-2006 02:28 PM:

Hi People

In an otherwise uninformative and disgusting message that I just deleted from our moderator queue, Cassin informs us that he is the proud owner of the ensi that just sold on eBay (the one Louis shows in his post a few above this one), and that it is the second-best of its type. Maybe the colors look a lot better in the wool than they do on my monitor. I wouldn't accept it as a gift if it came with the condition that it had to be kept someplace where I'd see it every day.


Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 07-28-2006 03:55 PM:

Best of type?

Putting condition aside (and maybe differences in color reproductions too), is it not pretty obvious which of these two engsis has a better drawing?


Posted by Tim Adam on 07-28-2006 04:19 PM:

Second-best of type

Ok, I misread. Jack only claims his engsi to be second-best of its type. But that can be refuted easily, as there are two engsis in Turkoman Studies I, both of which are better drawn than the eBay engsi. So, at best Jack's is third-best.

Nevertheless, I think the eBay engsi is an authentic piece of Turkmen art and way above what is usually offered on eBay (condition aside, of course).

Jack, maybe you can say something about the significance of the replaced bovrek motifs and the unusual design in the lower elem panel?



Posted by Steve Price on 07-28-2006 04:28 PM:

Hi Tim

We don't permit Cassin to post, although he often does so by using pseudonyms that work until he is unable to control his incivility. He believes that he already owned the "best of type" before buying the "second best" on eBay. Me? I think "best of type" is a meaningless phrase when applied to antique rugs, although there are some that would certainly be included in most collectors' short lists. But, what do I know about such things? That's for the experts and the idiots who think they're experts.


Steve Price

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 07-28-2006 05:50 PM:

JC ensi


There is something odd about the description of this ensi on ebay. The seller has added a supplementary description of his ensi, that was said to be from the WAM (curator JC). We can suppose that JC himself send this added info to the seller just to satisfy some ego about his so called knowledge on this special design. So, doing this, he has increased in some manner the interest on this item and its price ! And he says now he has bought it ! A good example for all rug hunters !



Posted by Steve Price on 07-28-2006 07:00 PM:

Bonjour Louis

WAMRI curator, now, is he? Actually, he's the entire staff: founder, curator, chief executive officer, vice-president, secretary, board of directors, janitor, coat check girl, groundskeeper. Everything except treasurer, which they don't need because they have no income or assets.

I looked to make sure I understood him correctly about being the buyer. Here's the relevant part of the content of the message he tried to post:
i bought the gopaz ensi and its the second best one known -- guess who owns the first, fathead, but don't strain your pea-brain too hard

We don't normally include eBay sales in our discussions, but if you have the URL for this one, would you be good enough to post it?

By the way, I'm not going to allow this interesting thread to be diverted into being about Cassin, and will prune that part out when the time comes to archive it. Meanwhile, I've made a copy of this thread in the "You Don't Know Jack?" forum. Please post Cassin-related messages in that one, rug-related messages in this one.


Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 07-28-2006 08:03 PM:

Hello all,

Pinner notes that the Gopuz motif could be related to a motif found on some Saryk engsis. Here is an example.

It is from this, outstanding, engsi. The colors you see don't do this piece any justice.


Posted by Jack Williams on 07-28-2006 09:12 PM:

symbol on other rugs.

I don't know the origin of the symbol, but this picture is of a baluch given to me by my brother 30 years ago. It was old then and is virtually unchanged since because it has been out-of-the- way. Also, nice color combo in that saryk ensi. What a beautiful creation.

Regards, Jack Williams

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 07-30-2006 03:18 PM:

saryk ensi

Hello Jack

I think that the saryk devices on the lateral borders are more tree of life device than the gopuz tekke device. This latter shows distinctively animal heads, when the saryk one is more floral.
Meanwhile the use of those two devices in the same place could significate that they belong to the same family. There is also a family look between the saryk meander device and the tekke meander device we find in animal tree ensis. And the double pronged figures that we see in the saryk meander have something to do with the gopuz design. It seems clear that ensi design belong to a common root of design design that may be very old, each tribe having taken from this common found its specific design. And this specific tribe design has also evoluted with the time.

The little border design in the baloutch rug could be related to the gopuz design, but it can be also a simplified version of tree of life.

Amicales salutations


Posted by Tim Adam on 08-03-2006 10:24 AM:

Hello all,

Apart from the unusual end panel design (for engsis), and the replaced bovrek motifs, yet another unusual feature of the gopuz engsi is that the sainak motifs extend all the way to the end, while in more traditional pieces the sainak border stops before the end panel.

What can we infer from this? This engsi has probably been woven by a weaver already removed from tribal traditions. It's a commercial piece, or, as JC would put it, 'airport art'.


Posted by Tim Adam on 08-03-2006 10:37 AM:

Another feature that could be considered interesting, but I don't think it is unusual, are the additional ornaments between the sainak motives. Here are two examples.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 2.2.6
Copyright © Jelsoft Enterprises Limited 2000, 2001.