Posted by Steve Price on May 10, 1999 at 08:49:42:
Here are the recommendations, with commentary, that I hand out to students who take the course I've given on oriental rugs. They are novices, most knowing absolutely nothing about the subject when the course begins and presumably a bit more when it ends.
Some Useful Sources of Information about Oriental Rugs and Related Subjects:
George O'Bannon, Oriental Rugs, Courage Books. Inexpensive, examples of very high quality with excellent color reproduction. Text is very sketchy, but a gives a reasonable overview with relatively few errors.
David Black, Atlas of Oriental Carpets, MacMillan. A very nice, inexpensive general introduction to carpets and related weavings. Includes some basic information on attribution of weavings to specific geographic areas.
Jon Thompson, Oriental Carpets from the Tents, Cottages and Workshops of Asia, E.P. Dutton. Available inexpensively as a paperback. Informative text, particularly with respect to tribal weavings. Nicely illustrated, with color photos of a number of rugs and of the peoples who make them.
P.R.J. Ford, The Oriental Carpet, History and Guide to Motifs, Patterns and Symbols, Harry N. Abrams. Profusely illustrated, available inexpensively as a paperback. This book is arranged in a way that allows the reader to easily make geographic attributions on the basis of designs and layouts.
Ian Bennett, Oriental Rugs, Vol. 1, Caucasian, Oriental Textiles Press. By far the best reference work on Caucasian pile weavings, with multiple illustrations of most types and discussions of their quality. The color reproduction is fair to good.
Uwe Jourdan, Oriental Rugs, Vol. 5, Turkoman, Oriental Textiles Press. Probably the best overall reference work on Turkoman weavings, with excellent illustrations.
Louise Mackie and Jon Thompson, Turkmen Tribal Carpets and Traditions, Textile Museum. A standard reference work on Turkoman weavings, with excellent examples and quite good color reproduction. Less breadth of coverage than Jourdan's book.
Elena Tsareva, Rugs and Carpets from Central Asia, the Russian Collections, Penguin Books. Inexpensive in the paperback form, this is a very well known and widely cited work on the weavings of the Turkoman and their neighbors. Unfortunately, it includes many errors and the color reproduction of the examples (most of which are excellent pieces) is generally only fair.
Alastair Hull and Jose Luczyc-Wychowska, Kilim, the Complete Guide, Thames and Hudson. A very good reference on flatweaves of all types, with informative text and good color reproduction.
Anthony Landreau and W.R. Pickering, From Bosporus to Samarkand, Flat-woven Rugs, Textile Museum. Although many of the attributions are now considered incorrect, this classic book (published in 1969) essentially introduced flatweaves of northwest Iran and the Caucasus to the world of collectors.
Janet Harvey, Traditional Textiles of Central Asia, Thames and Hudson. Good source of information on weavings of Central Asia from Uzbekistan eastward. Excellent photographs, but no estimates of the ages of the illustrated pieces or, surprisingly, of their actual sizes.
Johannes Kalter and Margareta Palavoi, Uzbekistan, Thames and Hudson. Probably the best source of information on the material culture (including textiles) and history of Uzbekistan. High quality photographic reproduction.
Peter F. Stone, The Oriental Rug Lexicon, University of Washington Press. Available inexpensively as a paperback. Definitions of virtually every term likely to be encountered concerning textiles. Unfortunately, there are a number of errors, which limits its usefulness as a reference without some cross-checking. Clear line drawings illustrate nearly anything that needs more than a few words, and many very good color illustrations.
Hali. A slick, extremely well written and printed publication, published in England. Every serious collector of oriental textiles subscribes to this, despite the relatively high cost.
Ghereh. The "new kid on the block". A fledgling periodical, published in Italy, that is very well produced but with editorial content that is still of unpredictable quality.
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