September 13th, 2010, 08:39 AM   1
Karl StrÝmstad
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A Yomut Septagonal Asmalyk with Bridal Procession

I would like to get your views on this asmalyk. I have looked in all my books, but cannot find a septagonal asmalyk with a bridal procession. All are pentagonal. The closest I could find patternwise was in Uwe Jourdan no 192.
The piece is 118X75 cm, has a knot count of 45x90 per square dm, knots are AS open to the left, colours are two shades of red, two shades of blue, green, aubergine, and ivory, all natural as far as I can see. The wool seems to be a bit dry.
Any comments?
Best regards
Karl






September 13th, 2010, 09:51 AM   2
Steve Price
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Hi Karl

I haven't seen anything quite like it, either. The field and borders are very Yomud, but the asymmetric knotting open to the left is pretty unusual. My recollection is that one of the "Eagle Gul" Yomud subgroups used that knot, but I don't have time to look for the source right now.

Regards

Steve Price
September 13th, 2010, 10:54 AM   3
Marvin Amstey
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I, too, have never seen a seven-sided piece with a wedding train on it. The knot description is that of Arabatchi, not Yomud. What is the weft material?number of shoots? Warp depression? Knot count?
Thanks for showing it!
September 13th, 2010, 11:07 AM   4
Richard Larkin
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Hi Karl,

Very interesting piece. I haven't seen the like of it either. It seems there is a range of Yumud-ish weaving that could include the asymmetric knot open left.

If you post more images, could you include a closer look at the back?

Rich Larkin
September 13th, 2010, 11:18 AM   5
Steve Price
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Hi Again

"Eagle gul" groups I and III use asymmetric knots open to the left, and there's at least one asmalyk with a wedding procession with an Eagle gul group attribution. My best guess is that Karl's piece was woven by the same group.

Regards

Steve Price
September 13th, 2010, 12:13 PM   6
Karl StrÝmstad
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Thank you for your comments. I will mail a closeup of the back to Steve for inclusion in the thread. For knot count, see my first post. The weft material seems to be brown wool. There is no warp depression.
Best regards
Karl
September 13th, 2010, 01:18 PM   7
Eric Trowbridge
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Karl:

Yours looks like a higher-end piece, but this is a contemporary asmalyk that has some similarities to yours. It's from Turkmenistan, although I don't know if it deserves a tribal identification any more specific than "Yomut-inspired." I assume that it's based on a cartoon that anyone could have made (though, as a Turkmenistani product, it seems safe to assume that Turkmen did in fact make it).



Regards,

Eric
September 13th, 2010, 03:07 PM   8
Karl StrÝmstad
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Here is the close-up of the back.
Regards
Karl

September 15th, 2010, 08:17 AM  9
Karl StrÝmstad
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Thank you all for your interest. It seems that the closest we can get is an Eagle Group attribution.
If any further ideas crop up, please let me know.
Best regards
Karl
September 15th, 2010, 01:40 PM   10
Richard Larkin
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Hi Karl,

Your image of the back suggests that there there is an uneven quality in the backs of the knots. Some appear to have a rough or pebbly texture, especially some of the dark red/brown ones; others appear smoother. Is this impression given with the piece in hand?

Rich Larkin
September 16th, 2010, 06:09 AM   11
Karl StrÝmstad
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Hi Rich,
The overall impression is that the knots are quite even. There are some small areas where these dark knots are a bit uneven.
Best regards
Karl
September 17th, 2010, 01:03 PM  12
Paul Smith
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Karl, et al...

That is a beautiful and intriguing piece, but I am haunted by the Eagle Group attribution, mainly because the lovely colors on this weaving don't look like Turkmen colors to me, especially the green, and the shape is a little peculiar (it's arguably nine-sided!). The shape, absence of patina, and those colors point later rather than earlier to me (though not too late since the colors are apparently vegetal). When I see something with clearly Turkmen design but unusual wonderful colors, I think "Quchan Kurd," though I don't know if that would apply to this. I have never seen a Quchan piece that imitated an asmalyk. But in any case, I would timidly suggest that this might a very high-quality interpretation of an asmalyk, by...who knows? But it doesn't look like any Eagle Group weaving I have ever seen.

Regards,

Paul
September 17th, 2010, 01:25 PM   13
Steve Price
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Hi Paul

I've never seen an Eagle group piece that looked like this, either. On the other hand, I've never seen a piece with any other attribution that looked like it.

This image comes from Barry O'Connell's site. It sold at a Rippon-Boswell sale about 10 years ago, and was catalogued as Eagle group.



It sold at Rippon-Boswell about 10 years ago, and was attributed to Eagle group in the catalog. The attribution may not be right, but it is at least an example of something related to Karl's piece that was given an Eagle group attribution by someone pretty knowledgeable.

I agree that Karl's doesn't look ancient, but the contrast of that one with Eric's contemporary piece is pretty dramatic.

Regards

Steve Price
September 18th, 2010, 04:12 PM   14
Rich Larkin
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Hi All,

I think the asmalyk looks like a genuine Turkoman, though I agree with Paul that the palette is slightly unusual in the blue and green. As to the Eagle group attribution, there doesn't seem to be much in the piece evoking that rubric except the open left knotting; but other Turkoman groups feature that technique, at least some of the time. Arabatchi, for example, and some Chaudor. I generally consider the Eagle group attribution to be limited to rugs older than this one would seem to be. That opinion is not based on much authority. If there is some unevenness in the knotting, as appears to be so from the image, Arabatchi would be my tentative label.

I went looking for the Rippon Boswell item Steve posted and found instead the following (Auctioned from Sotheby's):

http://www.spongobongo.com/sd93n155.htm

It is remarkably similar to the one Steve posted, and considering the apparently free form drawing it exhibits, one thinks it must have adorned the other side of the same camel in that wedding. The comment on Barry O's site is to the effect that the color reproduction was not accurate in the image, so the close identity with Steve's post as to palette is a possibility. There is a review of structure and materials in the above link. The wefts are described as brown wool, whereas Eagle group weavings are usually said to show mixed wool and cotton in the wefts. Thus, I would think one must accept the assignment of the other one (Sotheby's) to the Eagle group with reservation.

Rich Larkin
September 18th, 2010, 09:50 PM   15
Paul Smith
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Hi all...

Has anyone ever seen this nine-sided format before? I vaguely recall a Turkmen rug with that kind of niche on the top...maybe a Chaudor piece. But it wasn't an asmalyk.

Paul

Last edited by Paul Smith; September 18th, 2010 at 10:05 PM.
September 19th, 2010, 09:01 AM  16
Stephen Louw
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Karl, this is a lovely piece to look at, neat! I tend to the view its a relatively recent interpretation of the well-know masterpiece Steve Price posted above. But its still a lovely piece.
September 19th, 2010, 09:18 AM  17
Karl StrÝmstad
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Dear All,
This seems to be turned into a larger enigma than I had enticipated. From nine-sided to fairly recent to not too ancient. I am still not sure what it really is. My understanding when looking at the piece is that it is not recent, around 1900 seems to be fair. I had not really seen the nine-sided view until pointed out.
What remains is that it is a piece which no-one has seen before, it is a very nice piece, it is tightly knotted with a high knot count, it has good colours, and it remains a mystery.
Best regards
Karl
September 19th, 2010, 10:36 AM  18
Rich Larkin
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Hi Karl,

I would agree, ca. 1900 is very possible. I was contrasting it with such pieces as Steve posted, which I would take to be older.

I find the green interesting, and unusual in that shade in a Turkoman rug. Does it appear to have been dyed blue over yellow?

Rich Larkin
September 19th, 2010, 10:40 AM  19
Steve Price
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Hi Karl

When I said "not ancient", late 19th or early 20th century was what I had in mind. Its shape is close to that of septagonal asmalyks, but not quite the same. I've never seen one in that format, live or in photos.

It obviously has an assortment of characteristics that confound attribution. The major design elements are Yomud. The asymmetric knots open left are, to the best of my knowledge, unique to Eagle group among the Yomud subgroups. Green is pretty unusual in Yomud work, although it is sometimes fairly prominent in pieces attributed to Igdyr weavers. Here's a direct scan of part of such a piece that hangs on the wall directly behind my monitor:



I've gotten one e-mail from someone who is sure that your asmalyk is a recent reproduction. On the other hand, the sender is someone who's always certain but often wrong. If it's a reproduction, of what? If it's unique, it isn't a reproduction.

Regards

Steve Price
September 19th, 2010, 01:32 PM   20
Karl StrÝmstad
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Hi All,
Here is an Ensi with a lot of green:

You can find a better picture here:
http://www.dmreuben-carpets.com/Turkoman/Images/yomutensi1.htm

A small rug with some of the same colours as the asmalyk:






Are we getting any further?
(I cannot see how the green colour in the asmalyk is made up)
Best regards
Karl
October 5th, 2010, 11:05 AM  21
Steve Price
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Hi People

We did a Salon about pentagonal Turkmen weavings awhile ago, and several interesting (to me) points came out of it. One was that small pentagonal pieces (like dyzlyks) often had field devices that were pretty much the same sizes as those in asmalyks, just not as many.

Another was that although most asmalyks had a field completely filled with repeating devices, there are a few (the "jewelry asmalyks") in which the repeating element doesn't fill the pentagonal field, but is replaced by something else in the region of the apex. I'm not aware of any smaller Turkmen pentagonal pieces in which the field is interrupted. At least, I wasn't until just a few weeks ago, when such a piece appeared on eBay. It's been sold, and I thought it would be an appropriate thing to add to this thread.









Regards

Steve Price