In the first part of the discussion four rugs are presented.

The Meyer-Müller rug

The Nagel-Hali 91 rug

The SNY December 12, 1997 rug

The Eagleton rug

From their "appearance" those rugs make an homogenous group of which the earliest surviving seems to be from the beginning of the 19th century.

The Meyer-Müller rug, a probably North-West-Persian workshop production, the purest in design described as "Zoroastrian flame palmette", influenced undoubtedly tribal and nomadic design from their Kurdish neighbors.

My purpose is to demonstrate through three indicators, the flame like palmette , the "calyx/ducks" motifs and, the borders the relations whose can be established between these rugs and other North-West Persian rugs.

Using the "flame like palmette" as first indicator.

Without too much imagination, those rugs can be related through this characteristic palmette, and the overall layout of the pattern whose become more and more stylized but conserve their basically shape and organization.

Using the "calyx/ducks" motifs as second indicator, a continuum can also be established.

This motif derives from the calyx of the floral palmette of the Meyer-Müller rug. It was clearly misunderstood and transformed through the centuries by the nomadic weavers in leafs and stylized duck-like motif. It gives us the opportunity to see how floral motifs followed a common transformation and evolution in nomadic weaving.

If we admit that those rugs are clearly related through designs similarities, I will tentatively relate them with two other one for which a Sauj Bulak attribution has been guessed by some experts.

It’s usually admitted that the  rendering of the borders is a better guide in attribution of origins then the pattern.

The Dodds rug and the ORAC rug are added into this discussion, as they share with the Nagel-Hali 91 rug and the SNY  rug a typical main border that I haven’t seen in any other production, one palmette with at each side a trefoil motif followed by a squarish degenerate flower head.

This border may be a characteristic of rugs for which a Sauj Bulaq attribution has been guessed.

To notice also that those rugs share the same minor borders, a meandering of small geometrical motifs on a blue or white and yellow ground or the running dog motif.

It's sure that relating rugs through design details or borders is a guess game but we are on firmer ground as it seems that they also share the same structure characteristics.

Common feature in rugs that may be attributed to the Kurdish Sauj Bulak area are:

Warps: wool, white or beige brown, Z2S, level

Wefts: wool, red, two shoots

Knot: symmetrical, average between 45 & 80/sq. inch

Handle: thick & flexible



Relations between North West Persian rugs has been established here, through design details, borders pattern and structure and a Kurdish Sauj Bulak attribution is tentatively guessed. It's sure that seeing and handling the pieces would be much more meaningful in establishing a link between them and we shall perhaps receive information's from the owners of those rugs if they visit our "salon".

Questions or subject of discussion:

1/ The transformation of floral motifs into animal ones through the centuries.

2/ Is the typical main border described here characteristic of the Kurdish Sauj Bulak area

3/ Is the Sauj Bulak attribution a guessing game or can this attribution be defended.


Hoping you will have fun

Daniel  Deschuyteneer