Posted by Steve Price on 04-24-2002 08:57 AM:

The Unrestored Kilim

Hi People,

The Salon essay refers to the restoration of a kilim. Here are two images of the piece showing it prior to restoration. One is of the entire kilim, the other is a closer look at the condition.

In about a week I expect to be able to post pictures of the piece taken after the restoration. I will also post pictures of the referenced pieces in the catalog of the kilim+sculpture exhibition.


Steve Price

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 04-29-2002 09:49 AM:

How far to go?


From a cursory look at this kilim, it does not look worth restoring. If I saw it at a rug store, I suspect it would be rolled up in a corner gathering dust (or MAKING dust!). It would have to be pretty cheap for me to buy, since it is only half of the original, it appears to be falling apart and, even though the design is a bit unusual, the colors and overall appearance don't do much for me. It looks like the reds have run, turning the whites into pink and the blacks, well, lets say this is a real fixer-upper. I wouldn't even make pillows out of it because I would think they might fall apart.

OK, all that being said, it looks like you have quite a project ahead of you. If I were to spend that much time and money on having someone restore it, I wonder if it would be possible for them to re-create the other half for me
It would make quite a comparison, having both the restored original alongside a modern reproduction made with "state-of-the-art" techniques and materials to make a mirror image. It might also even be an opportunity for people to actually see perhaps how much repair has been done to many other weavings that we are not even aware of.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Michael Bischof on 04-29-2002 04:01 PM:

Dear Patrick Weiler,

thanks a lot for frank language. Some comments:
- this is a digital reproduction of a paper photography taken many years before in order to document the status of the piece prior to restauration.
- nobody can interprete , especially the colours, correct from such a picture. Therefore some remarks:
there is no red colour than ran. It is a purely synthetic effect of rendering the photo from a flare original. All colours in this piece are natural dyes, and they are good dyes. A deep aubergine, for example, the greens are quite patinated ... as usual in most of such early pieces.
- the main thing is nearly invisible: a black like ultra-deep aubergine, which is corroded (missing) in
areas so big that the ground colours seems to be the grey of the underground. This special
underground is most likely common to some connoisseurs - but the place where the photo was shot is
closed now.
- so in the direct sense of the word: what you see here is a negative of a picture that once was positive,
a real picture reversal. All spaces that have been black now look whitish ( the white warps are visible)
or light grey, depending on what kind of ground one places the fragment.
That it is the half of a kilim I do not find much disturbing. A lot of early pieces we know only from halves and have to imagine the original by doing a kind of ad-hoc-retouche in our brain to visualize
the whole thing.
May be my English is unsufficient, sorry: the work of repair we do not have ahead of us. It is done and
quite soon you see the result here. In our text we had described what was discussed with the owner of the piece ( who was couragous enough at that time to undertake the adventure of doing mind-retouche
prior to buying it) and what has been done then.
In order to avoid a misunderstanding that was imported on purpose to here by a third party: I (M.B.) did not buy and sell this particular piece so this essay is not a kind of indirect self-promotion of a dealer.

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