Re: Two Vernehs (Number 2)

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Posted by Mike Tschebul (via Jerry Silverman) on July 01, 1999 at 00:32:16:

In Reply to: Re: Two Vernehs (Number 2) posted by Jerry Silverman on June 30, 1999 at 07:09:22:

: Here is the second one.

: Caucasian Verneh #2

: 77" x 56"
: 7 colors
: Warp fiber: wool in broad bands of blue and red Spin and ply: Z2S
: Ground weft fiber: wool
: Plain soumak: 20 stitches per vertical inch Spin and ply: Z2S
: (white soumak weft is cotton Z3S)

Ya know, Jerry, these covers, are of a group that interests me, and I've
done a bit of digging around to find out about them. How old they are is of
less interest to me as an upfront question, and, in fact, only by knowing
quite a bit about them can you ask age questions. But I must say, that as
with many Caucasian flatweaves, which apparently didn't feel the market
pressure that Caucasian pile rugs did, actual age is hard to gauge. Many
seem to have been stored away and unused, so they look newer than they
probably are. As long as dyes are good, some of the covers such as you
illustrate can be verrry old, at least in theory. They're a techie's dream,
as they can't be easily analyzed as to structure. One of the group
belonging to me is posted on Marla's site in detail, and is woven the same
way that the two you show are. They're mostly weft-predominant plainweave
and light in weight, many have cotton brocaded designs, and the all have
slit-tapestry joints between the vertical color bands formed by the
different colored warps. I think they have a long tradition: When
relatively unbrocaded, you can see that they have a "sofre"-like appearance,
with an open field. I think it's likely that the open field pile rugs from
the Transcaucasus are based on these flatweaves. The flatweaves are almost
all woven in the general format that is typical of Moghan Shahsavan verni,
which were used, I'm pretty sure, only for special occasions. Those verni
were mostly woven on narrow ground looms in sewn-together strips, like
jajim, but they also have a weft-predominant plainweave structure. So, you
ask, how do those one-piece weavings, like what you illustrate, relate?
>From fieldwork and long talks with anthropologists, I can deduce that the
wide, one piece "verni" were almost certainly not woven by nomads. I can
guess that they were woven by villagers along the Kur, maybe some for sale
to nomads. Hamid Sadighi speculates that some were woven in workshops for
sale to Russians, and that is certainly possible. He illustrates one with
Cyrillic script.

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