Posted by Francine Williams on May 09, 1999 at 10:25:51:
About 15 years ago I bought a Dover book by Lyatif Kerimov called "Folk Designs from the Caucasus." I was beginning to design needlepoint (pillows) and sweaters and thought this would be an interesting source of new ideas. Within the blink of an eye, my house became filled with Kubas and Kazaks and Shahsevan bagfaces, Kurdish rug fragments and ah! the kilims. I tried planting a garden in a Kazak pattern (dismal failure, but interesting idea.) I will buy an occasional piece of antique Japanese Imari, if it looks enough like a rug pattern. Of course, the rug books have taken over.
Since I began in the Caucasus, the book that I refer to most frequently is Ian Bennett's "Oriental Rugs, Volume I: Caucasian." The quality of the illustrations is not great, and it is disconcerting to have a reference book where the author has not seen the rugs in person. Nevertheless, the book provides a means of identifying and describing these rugs and a basis to being comparisons. (Don't use it to design your garden!)
Your questions are wonderful and I look forward to the responses. Here's an additional question: What related books (history, sociology, art, fiction...) do you find interesting or invaluable?
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