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Salon du Tapis d'Orient

The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please include your full name and e-mail address in your posting.

Wendel Swan's Potpourri at the Textile Museum (Page 2)

Harold Keshishian helped Wendel put up the next piece, a kilim.

Wendel indicated that this is a Reyhanli kilim from Southeast Turkey. The abundant cochineal indicates the kilim is roughly from the mid-19th Century. The white is cotton and the field is composed of elements that otherwise appear as mihrabs in some Turkish prayer rugs.

Wendel described this weaving as a panel in zili brocading, but of somewhat unusual size, narrower than the typical northwest Persian (NWP) mafrash side panel, but wider than the typical NWP mafrash end panel. Wendel thinks it is either NWP or possibly eastern Anatolian. The design in common in Turkey as is the technique but Wendel is far from certain about its exact origin or function.

This is another attractive yastik. Wendel said it was from Oushak and deceptively coarse. The weaver executed this pattern very well despite the low knot count. Harold Keshishian likes the "dots" look of the piece.

Wendel also pointed out that the literature suggests that the earliest yastiks were woven without large side borders and that one of the things that he likes about this piece is that its design follows that older tradition.

It may well be that this was true for most early yastik designs but I noticed when we did the "Other Ottomans" salon, that one of the "17th century" yastiks presented as part of the Topkapi exhibition at the Corcoran had borders. So borders were there to some extent very early.

This next piece is a small, exceptionally finely woven Senneh kilim with silk warps. Wendel said that when he bargained for and bought this piece in Chicago, its fineness is such that, as he walked out of the shop, he put it in his pocket almost like a handkerchief.

Wendel brought a couple of small change purses that he discussed in one of the first TurkoTek salons. Here' the first one.

The design is a realistic scene with a woman serving a man something to drink, indicating that it was probably woven specifically for use by the owner of a tea house. Wendel said that someone indicated that they could read the script in the white ground border and that it referred to serving/drinking a beverage. There may be an element of fantasy in showing the service to be in an elegant garden rather than in an indoor teahouse.

Here's Wendel's other change pursue. This one has leather that begins on the bottom of the front and continues on the back. Wendel said this bag might have had a woven back at one time but, if so, it probably wore out very quickly.

Wendel opened this purse to show that it was worn. This purse was actually used.

Wendel is one of the few local collectors who's interested in some city rugs. The final rug of his own was this marvelous Kerman piece.

Like the Zoroastrian textile with which he began, this piece simply shouts skillful drawing and use of color. My photo here is dark at the top. The rug is not so at all. Wendel was asked if, since it has an arch, it could be a "prayer rug." He said that the use of human and animal figures in it would seem pretty definitively to bar such use.

Wendel will tire soon of hearing me point this out but I think the drawing and the use of color in the minor borders of this piece are among the most effective I have seen in any rug.

Folks in the audience had brought in a few pieces. This is a Qashqai bag face in a frequently seen design. Wendel's shadow darkens this image.

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