Re: Importance as reason for collecting

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Posted by Steve Price on March 25, 1999 at 17:26:05:

In Reply to: Importance as reason for collecting posted by Yon Bard on March 25, 1999 at 15:03:29:

Dear Yon,

I guess my collection is about as unfocussed as one can get, and I rarely (if ever) buy a piece because I think it's important.

Nevertheless, it isn't unusual for something strange to happen when I have lived intimately with a textile for awhile. I begin to see in it things about the weaving tradition that were unknown. This has happened a number of times, and I'll relate here only the most recent example.

I own a Yomud paneled mafrash, ivory ground, lovely colors and wool. I'd estimate it to be mid-19th century or so. When it was shown at the TM convention's show and tell last October, one of the most respected Turkmen experts in the world literally shrank from it, horrified at the "awful color runs". It occurred to me that areas of reddish tint in white or ivory ground Turkmen pieces are pretty common, even in what we believe to be among the oldest pieces, so I began looking more closely at this in published examples.

To make a long story short, if you look at pieces in which there are fairly large expanses of uninterrupted white or ivory wool, it is quite obvious that the reddish tint is some kind of an abrash - that the color was on the wool before it ever became pile. This, I believe, is news to most Turkmen collectors, and is the subject of a letter in the latest issue of HALI (#103, p. 71).

Steve Price

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