Dear folks -
Rug 44 in Jerry's salon, fascinated me as I helped hang this exhibition.
As far as I can tell, there are only two other published examples of this interesting design. They are both in George O'Bannon's "The Kyrgyz Carpet I," which his translation of and commentary on some work in this area by the Russian rug scholar, K. I. Antipina.
The caption on one of these pieces indicates that this design is a rare one, reported by Moshkova to be an original one by Kyrgyz weavers. The caption also suggests that it is probably an adaptation of a Beshir pattern. "The mottled ground colors and the use of small dots covering them are features of Beshir rugs. The dotted outlines of the (ed. "moon pattern"), and the alternating red/blue ground of the triangles are similar to the details of Beshir cloudband rugs.
One of the two other published pieces is of a remarkably large main carpet, owned by Kelly Webb, a Washington, DC, area collector. He brought it to a Textile Museum rug morning he was doing a week or so after ACOR 6. It is 4'9" X 10'1" and is estimated to have been at least two panels wider and longer. The catalog caption conjectures that it may have been commissioned by a khan.
I find the complex aysmmetry of this piece very attractive. Joe Fell's piece in Jerry's exhibition is noticeably more sophisticated in drawing than are the other two pieces, but the designs in the three of them are unmistakably the same.
R. John Howe
Is the lower end of the field an internal elem? It seems to fit the requirements. This is certainly not a case of the weaver changing her mind, nor a case of running out of room, since the rug (apparently) was started at what is shown as the bottom in your photo.
Why not just weave a single diamond?
Editor note: The image to which Patrick refers was upside down. It's been set to its correct orientation now, and what Patrick refers to as the bottom is really the top, and is seen that way now.
I don't know about an internal elem, Patrick; but if the field
isn't a garden with winding streams, it should be.
Joe Fell has had this piece for a long time. He advertised it in HALI 1:3, page 37.
In the flesh it's very visually compelling. Maybe it's the deep colors; maybe it's the asymmetry. More than one person told me it was their favorite in the exhibition.
It certainly is different.
The diamond appears like a YIELD sign.
The small "moon" shapes are visually compelling and, in combination with the alternating-colored wavy lines, almost hypnotic.
Your Garden hypothesis is the first thing I thought of also, due to the flowing directional nature of the arrows in the outlines of the diamonds and the almost farm-field symmetry of the layout.
The blues and reds are certainly reminiscent of Beshir weavings, and the light blue appears to have enough green in it to have probably been more green before the yellow faded - similar to many Beshir pieces.
The small, square size and only 1-1/4 diamonds almost makes one think it was cut-and-shut. Other than the more rectangular prayer rugs and "wedding" rugs, I do not recall many square Central Asian rugs of this size.
Meditation mat? Throne cover? There certainly does not seem to be much wear, but from this perspective, it is hard to tell if it has been repaired.
That certainly changes everything!
Now that the image is right-side up, it appears that the bottom edge has a fringe and the top has what is either a plain flat weave or a flat weave folded over and sewn down. This last option may indicate a bag or trapping rather than a rug. Are there any other clues about its use?
Kyrgyz Bag Face
I apologize for the original upside down presentation. I just didn't see it as I was scanning a lot of photos.
In Jerry's exhibition the piece was labeled simply as a "Kyrgyz Bag Face."
One of the two pieces with this design that Antipina shows is similar. Joe Fell's piece (44) is 2' 10" X 2' 10". Antipina's Plate 15 is 2' 1" X 2' 9". She labels it a "kosh jabik," a small bag format which she distinguishes, but not clearly, from both "bashtyks" and "khorjins" to which she also refers. She does say at one point that she has seen "khorjins" created by joining two "bashtyks." Some of the "bashtyks" she labels have sizes similar to the Fell piece and to her "kosh jabik," but some are also much smaller.
As to use, they appear to be "personal use" bags.
R. John Howe
Thank you for pointing out what I could easily have determined by checking back on the Salon page!
This is a perfect example of using the appearance instead of the details to examine a rug. I neglected to go back to the Salon page showing this bagface and proceeded to deduce, with Jerry's and John's help, that this is, in fact, a bag face. A nice looking one, too.
From just the appearance it looks much larger, although a bag nearly 3' x 3' is still quite large.
The largest bag I own is a large Bakhtiari saddlebag with the faces 40" wide, but only 24" tall, which is more common in SW Persian bags of the Afshar and Bakhtiari. These large bags were produced in "pairs" and were carried on camels or donkeys. A single bag (although I cannot tell if this may have been woven as one of a pair) of this size would have been rather clumsy, although Turkish weavers make "chuvalari" or grain bags that are rather large.
Is the "moon" design known to be used as the exclusive or major design in other Kyrgyz weavings? A Beshir trapping I own does have red circles, but they are not multi-colored as in this Kyrgyz bag, and Elena Tzareva suspected they may be more splatters of blood than celestial objects.
I only know one other example, an Afshar bagface, with the "moon" as the exclusive field design.
And with as many moons as these bagfaces have, wouldn't stars be a more likely source?
Perhaps you missed the Moshkowa carpet, page 128 of the 1996 O'Bannon edition :
It is told Andijon Region, Jalalkuduk District, Khydyrsha Village 1914.( why not 1891 as the picture? I think 1891 is a mistake of the book: n° 54 is 1891) Uzbek Museum of Arts KP 8480.
69x90cm ( 2.3 x 2.11 ) acquired by 1929 expedition.
Warp Z 2S Camelhair et cotton
Weft 1 Z cotton one shoot
Kn As left 24 x 37 / dm 988 / dm² ( 47 / in²)
red and light red ( synthetic) dark blue, brown, white
Mr. Lavergne -
You are right. George's 1996 translation of and commentary on Moshkova would have been another logical place to look and despite the fact that it sits here just slightly over my head, I neglected to do so.
Thanks for doing so.
R. John Howe