TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Any "Egg Palmettes" in Here?
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  07-17-2001 on 09:06 p.m.
The rug below is identified as an Eagle-gul Group multiple-gul carpet in the "Atlantic Collection" catalog from the 1996 ICOC exhibits in Philadelphia.

The caption says that the design of this "Turkmen" rug includes an "open-top palmette" and that is estimated to have been woven in the 18th century on the basis of the character of its "Caucasian…ornaments."

Here are closer images of two of these "open-top palmettes."

Any "egg palmettes" in here?


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:Any "Egg Palmettes" in Here?
Author  :  Wendel Swan mailto:%20wdswan@erols.com
Date  :  07-17-2001 on 10:45 p.m.
Dear John,

That term "open top palmette" describes the feature that primarily distinguishes the Eagle-gul group palmette from the egg palmettes. Very much like the Italian palmette, the Eagle-gul medallions are open at the top. If you look again at the Italian palmette, you will see that the brown field extends into the body of the palmette, just as the red ground does in your example. That doesn't happen with the egg palmettes, which are closed.

Despite that fact, the Italian palmette retains the overall shape of an egg palmette. Nearly identical in form to the Eagle-gul palmettes are the "tulip" palmettes seen in plate 62 of Orient Stars and attributed to the Caucasus or surrounding regions and from the 17th Century. Here is a detail:

A good example of how universal designs can be.


Subject  :  Re:Any "Egg Palmettes" in Here?
Author  :  Michael Wendorf mailto:%20wendorfm@mediaone.net
Date  :  07-17-2001 on 11:57 p.m.
Dear John and Wendel:

Interestingly, I had asked Steve to upload images of the same Turkmen carpet from the Hecksher collection. Now he does not need to.

To follow on this thread and Wendel's point of the "open top" and "tulip" palmettes, kindly consider also the so-called "blazon" palmette. Ellis, Early Caucasian Rugs Figure 1, page 10. In its purest form, the "blazon" palmette is a directional palmette "supported" or flanked on each side by a dragon element. If we then imagine the dragon elements simplified, made more angular in the Caucasian vernacular and connect them at the bottom, we have something approximating the "open top" and tulip palmettes with an explanation for the existence of the ground color extending into the "open top" and "tulip". The explanation being that we are seeing two design elements, not one as we see in the purer egg palmette.

Whether there is a connection or not, the distinction between the "open top" and "tulip" palmettes begs the question of why the egg palmette is closed. Separate origin or merely a part of the local vernacular?

And what to make of the Hecksher carpet?
Is it Caucasian? Yomud? Salor? Or the Ballard carpet? Comparisons among so few pieces is mostly superficial. Probably, the answer is much as Wendel suggests, concidence. Or did more rural weavers find a similar vernacular and solution to similar influences and limitations? Perhaps we do need to look at Herat and further to the arts of China again to appreciate the depth and power of these influences.

Great Salon, thanks, Michael

Subject  :  Re:Any "Egg Palmettes" in Here?
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer mailto:%20daniel-d@skynet.be
Date  :  07-19-2001 on 06:34 a.m.
Dear all,

Coincidence or not, such "open top palmettes" were very popular in the Caucasus and we must have this in mind to attempt to determine a possible origin for the Italian rug. But that's another thread.

Get a look to this picture from the bedroom in a house of a rich Crimean Tartar done at the beginning of the 20th century (The Caucasian Peoples -il 86). The palmettes in the close-up of the curtain are very similar to the "Italian palmette". I don't think it is coincidence and I am quite sure that weavers used a similar vernacular.


Deschuyteneer Daniel

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