The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion
group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental
rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please
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WEST PERSIAN RUGS?
In the first part of the discussion
four rugs are presented.
December 12, 1997 rug
From their appearance these
rugs make an homogeneous group of which the earliest surviving
seems to be from the beginning of the 19th century.
rug, probably a North-West-Persian workshop product, the purest
in design described as "Zoroastrian flame palmette",
influenced undoubtedly on tribal and nomadic design from their
My purpose is to demonstrate
through three indicators, the flame like palmette, the "calyx/ducks"
motifs and, the borders the relationship between these and other
Northwest Persian rugs.
Using the "flame
like palmette" as first indicator: without too much
imagination, these rugs can be related through this characteristic
palmette, and the overall layout of the pattern, which becomes
more and more stylized but basically conserves their shape and
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 another for which a Sauj Bulak attribution
has been proposed by some experts.
It is usually admitted that
the rendering of the borders is a better guide in attribution
of origins then the pattern.
rug and the ORAC rug are added into
this discussion, as they share with the Nagel-Hali
91 rug and the SNY rugs
a typical main border that I havent seen in any other production,
one palmette at each sidefollowed by a trefoil motifby
and a squarish degenerate flower head.
This border may be a characteristic
of rugs for which a Sauj Bulaq attribution has been made.
Notice also that these 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.
While relating rugs through
design details or borders is generally recognized as not terribly
reliable the fact that they also share the same structure
characteristics puts us on former ground.
Common features 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
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year