TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Turkoman design and memling guls
Author  :  Michael Wendorf
Date  :  09-03-2000 on 11:39 a.m.
Dear All: Daniel's Salon has identified a distinctive group of ivory ground long rugs displaying memling gul devices. Of course, memling guls have been used on a variety of weavings by a variety of weavers for at least 500 years. The memling gul is a basic design element consisting of a stepped polygon with hooked arms extending from the polygon. Turkoman collectors and scholars have long held that Turkoman bags are special weavings that contain tribal identity, tribal symbols and even a woven language. Yet memling guls are found on the bags, and virtually only on bags, woven by Turkomans. In "Antique Oriental Carpets from Austrian Collections" (Vienna 1983) Pobert Pinner identified memling gul tentbags of the Salor, Saryk, Kizil Ayak, Yomud, Eagle - group II and Tekke tribes. Since then numerous other examples have come to light including an Arabachi Kap (Lot 50 Sotheby's London October 19, 1994) now in the Hecksher collection that has no secondary ornament - only memling guls - (see also "Wie Blumen in der Wuste", Hamburg 1993, plate 94) as well as additional Saryk examples such as plate 215 on page 186 of "Oriental Rugs from Atlantic Collections", Philadelphia 1996. What conclusions, if any, do we draw from the existence of memling guls on the small weavings of such a variety of Turkoman groups?

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