Posted by Michael Wendorf on December 11, 1998 at 10:40:45:
In Reply to: Question for Saul posted by R. John Howe on December 10, 1998 at 19:29:20:
Dear Friends and especially John:
I think I unintentionally misdirected you. The ascending design multiple niche item I recall passing through Saul's hands many years ago was not a tulu. It was either a cicim or a rug, I only remember the design. I will let Saul speak for himself on whether he sees or buys tulus, but my impression is that he has bought many interesting ones as well as baddani's and related primitive rugs.
As for the group of Karapinar rugs I referred to in the same reply John referred to in this thread, I went back to the literature last night to identify published examples. The ICOC rug I recalled is in the Atlantic Collections book published in connection with the Philadelphia ICOC at plate 57, from the Dodds collection. The caption claims there are about 15 published examples of Karapinar ascending multiple arch rugs in the literature. The references to these examples are not provided.
However, plates 50 and 55 in Atlantic Collections will be equally interesting. 55 is a brocaded cicim on a yellow ground that Dodds claims is from Kecimuhsine or Dazzir. He also states that kilims of this type have been observed suspended in interior doorways arches pointing down. In this case, perhaps we should refer to them as descending arches?
This information is contrasted by the observations of Bruggemann and Bohmer in their book Rugs of the Peasants and Nomads of Anatolia. Not only do they publish an example at plate 46, but at page 79 they provide an essay calling the rugs a special form of the Anatolian prayer rug. This hypothesis centers on the existence of a photograph dated 1258 of the Laranda Mosque in Konya first published by Sarre in 1909. That photo shows a stepped or ascending niche prayer kilim leading to the fayence mihrab in the Mosque, i.e., the mihrab where the Imam would lead prayers. The conclusion is that these rugs, cicim and kilim had prayer or religious significance.
I know too little to form an opinion. I will note that although Herrman suggested that this group should have seven niches, in fact there seems to be a determinedly varied number in the published examples of between 6 and 9 niches. Other examples may be found at plate 36 in Antike Anatolische Teppiche aus Osterreiches Besitz labelled Konya; in Hali 86 at page 130 in a photo of Bauback's TEFAF stand at Maastricht (here with 7 niches or mihrabs); in Hali 73 at page 63 (The Textile Gallery); and in Hali 74 in the auction guide where a fragment offered at Rippon Boswell is discussed. Hali therein comments in part as follows: "A large number of these multiple niche prayer rugs with vertically stepped mihrabs are known (their actual function is at best a matter of debate).
If you are still interested in seeing more you might check with Krikor Markarian in New York, last time I was there he had a pretty one. I hope this clarifies my reply in the earlier thread. I still like the image John posted and find it provocative that this design survives in so many related but different structures.
: Dear folks -
: Steve notes that, since tulus are still being woven, they seem likely to be relatively available and relatively inexpensive, yet we don't see many in the market. Perhaps, Saul, who travels to Turkey frequently will tell us, (1) whether he sees them there? and (2) with the exception of one that Michael Wendorf remembered, whether he buys them? (Saul, if you can find things like the last two images, I'll take one of each.) :-)
: John Howe
: : : Dear Friends,
: : : After nearly 5 days of kicking around thoughts precipitated by things with sparse, long goathair pile, nobody's mentioned the wonderful absence of snob appeal in tulus. They are usually 20th century products (imagine a WAV file of a chorus of boos here), I don't recall seeing any in Sotheby's catalogs, they are relatively inexpensive textiles. Yet, people seem to like them. Is snobbery dead?
: : : Steve Price
: : : I was under the impression that we were all supporting each other in a mutual milleu of intellectual snobbery and connoiseurship. Real snobs got gobs of money and can afford to not care. We all obviously care very much about our art and out toes so I'll try and watch mine along with some Q's. Jim
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