Posted by R. John Howe on 02-28-2002 05:38 AM:
Small Tekke Rug
Dear folks -
A piece owned by Leigh Marsh, Rug number 8 in the initial photo essay, also attracts my attention.
This image seems out of focus and doesn't do the piece near justice. It also appears in the "Atlantic Collections" catalog for the 1996 ICOC in Phildelphia as Plate 188 in a slightly better but still not entirely satisfying version.
Its octagonal guls have a nice roundness, the darkish minor gul seems to me to be unusual, and nicely complimentary. There are odd, "filler" connecting devices between the minor ornaments and these are replaced at the edges of the field "half diamond" forms composed of strips in different colors of a "comb-like" or conventionalized "latchook" design.
Both of these latter features are unusual but I rather think the piece would be better (it would certainly be more "spacious") if they had been omitted.
The cartouched main border apes the major gul in a more conventionalized form without competing seriously with the field devices, despite being a shade large in scale relative to them, and the space between each cartouche is decorated with comb devices in a way similar to the usages seen on some old Tekke main carpets.
Compare this small rug to another piece, the Salor torba, that Dennis showed in this session, also owned by Dr. Marsh.
This torba (there is a better image in the "Atlantic Collections" catalog, Plate 237), has very similar major and minor guls but much better spatial qualities. And the simplicity and smaller scale of the border and the elem seem to me even more effective than the what I see as a still largely unobjectionable treatment in the small rug.
Oddly, Plate 188 seems to have drawn no commment in the "Atlantic Collections" catalog. The catalog description on that page seems to focus entirely on the other piece on it, Plate 187.
Nevertheless, I found myself drawn to this piece, perhaps because I'm a bit of a sucker for octagonal guls.
If you own the "Atlantic Collections" volume you will know that there are at least two more in it: Myrna Bloom's, very nice early twelve-gul Tekke torba which appears as Plate 221, and Plate 232, a nine gul Tekke kap also owned by Dr. Marsh.
R. John Howe
John, a few points:
1. The Salor is plate 217, not 237, in Atlantic Collections.
2. I believe your picture of it is upside down. The picture in AC is the other way around, and the band of rams' horns at the top of that picture is what you generally find at the top. It is hard to tell what the elem looked like originally.
3. The colors in your pictures of both pieces are very different from those in the book. Which are the closer to the truth?
P.S. I just realized that the Salor is lot 154 in Sotheby's sale of 12/16/93, following the Thompson sale. The color in the Sotheby's catalog is yet different from the other two illustrations, and, in my recollection, is closest to the true color, though perhaps not quite as saturated.
Thanks for the number and the orientation corrections on the Salor piece. I likely turned it upside down while scanning, since I was in a "production" mode when I did that. Doesn't affect anything I said about this piece, though.
I can't really answer your question about which photo image is closest because I'd have to dig out the Sotheby's catalog and that's inconvenient at the moment but would say that this Salor piece has a VERY saturated red ground color. Really grabs your eye.
R. John Howe
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