Re: Dating by eyeballing a dye

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Posted by Sam Gorden on June 21, 1999 at 21:40:50:

In Reply to: Dating by eyeballing a dye posted by Marvin Amstey on June 20, 1999 at 13:46:38:

: I had an interesting correspondence with George (O'Bannon)a few years back that was published in ORR. I thought a rug was old because of the fineness of materials and my judgement of the dyes. George thought it was 100 years newer based on what he had seen in the markets in Afghanistan. When I had a dye expert look at the rug, he estimated - without testing - that all the dyes were synthetic.

: Subsequently, I have seen a color card of all the colors that can possibly be made with madder root. Believe me, there were some bright pinks and oranges that everyone of us would testify to being synthetic. My point is that unless one KNOWS for certain that the dye came out of a bottle or out of a boiling kettle of roots, twigs, bark and what have you, he/she can not tell synthetic from natural. Therefore, I submit that dating a rug by it's colors is inaccurate. The best we can do is to learn that certain colors are associated with older pieces and hope that the color we are observing is the same as the one we "know". For example, certain shades of green appear in old Ersari rugs; the old comes from a host of criteria - not just the "green". But one learns that that green is only seen in the old pieces, so we accept that color as natural and defining of an old piece. Color alone is not adequate. Regards, Marvin

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