The Questions Posed in This Salon

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Posted by R. John Howe on December 14, 1998 at 18:23:25:

In Reply to: Timurid minitures with Oguz rugs posted by James Allen on December 14, 1998 at 17:27:21:

Jim et al -

It's clear that Jim feels these questions are important, perhaps to him of primary importance. But one of the advantages of the salon notion is that it permits conversation to have a little focus. I would argue that such focus is one of the main virtues evident in the salons to date. While I don't want to seem to denigrate the potential importance of the representational issues that Jim continually raises (I do begin to fear to put up a Turkoman piece for any other purpose), I want to suggest that we at least attempt to focus momentarily on the questions I've posed. If every salon is reduced to a single agenda, our ability to learn is going to be considerably circumscribed. So I ask again, what are your answers to the questions I've posed. I'd like to leave Jim's representational issues to another salon, perhaps one in which he is the host. Can we try again?


John Howe

: Pinner published two of these in TURKOMAN STUDIES 1. I want you to do a visual exercise and look at pic. # 7. I want you to squint and look at the picture. I want you to only see the design as a series of flattened octagonal gulls whose centers are the minor gulls. This bright photo makes this a little difficult but it is easy enough to see. Having seen the design flip into reverse dominant mode and the octagons as primary object, it should be easy to see this design expanded into a main carpet format. When the gulls are vertically elongated ,which a closer to 1:1 knot ratio would do,one can easily imagine that the dominant visual impression would be of a series of octagonal gulls. This is what those timurid artists from Meshad copied. This startling insight has also led me to theorize that the chuval gull was formed out of the evolutionary juxtapositions of the merging of approximated octagonal edges. I am including Shawn Jazzmans' idea of the nominal gull or hidden gull in this torba to aid your visualization. This imaginary main carpet is the missing link in Turkoman studies. The origin of the chuval gull must be a little under 1000 years. It is obvious that the earliest chuval gulls were asymmetic and anthropomorphic. I must interject that another torba has been C-14 dated to before 1700 by Hoffmeister at Munichs; accellerator. It had this same anthropomorphic gull center. Not as well done as this one though. This old torba of mine was copied from an oguz original as was the famous Yomud carper collected by Meyers and now at the TM, fig.# 67 in Turkmen. It should be easy to see its' poorly done chuval gulls are a copy of the same thing this was copied from. I hope nobody melts down reading all this but if you will take the trouble to really LOOK HARD, you'll see what i am talking about. Have fun JIM ALLEN

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