Posted by David_Hunt on 07-12-2002 09:05 AM:

Some Very Old Rugs in Istanbul

These four photographs, one color and three black and white are of carpet fragments from the Ala ed-din Mosque in Konia, Turkey and dating from the 13th-14th century, represent the few existing carpets from the Seljuk period and as such perhaps the earliest known Turkmen rugs. Their even symmetrical knotting , both sophisticated pallet and intricate designs demonstrate excellent craftsmanship. What most impresses me about these rugs, aside from their inherent beauty, is the realization that in so many ways these rugs are still with us. The weaving cultures of the Caucasian,the Persian and Balouch , and of course the Turkmen are all represented, for these design elements are still used in contemporary weaving cultures of Turkic descent. The octagonal flowers or gols, the geometric avian renderings, the lattice works and cufic borders are all relics of their common origins.

Maybe one of our members might possess some color photos of the B&W images- and maybe when I get the chance, and if I can figure out how, I'll use one of those photo repair programs to reconstruct of of these rugs- or at least a reasonable Facimile.

Posted by Steve Price on 07-12-2002 09:24 AM:

Hi David,

Although all of those pieces did come from the Konya mosque that you mention, they are now in the Museum of Islamic Art in Istanbul. It's a terrific museum, with a large collection of rugs, nicely displayed. No ruggie visiting Istanbul should miss it.

There's also a wonderful collection of rugs in the ethnographic museum (I've forgotten the exact name of it) in Konya.

Thanks, and best regards,

Steve Price

Posted by Lavergne Philippe on 07-13-2002 11:04 AM:

You can find another - coloured - part of your third carpet on :

It is the figure 3 of : Detail of knotted pile wool rug, Turkey, 14th century. Turkish Islamic Arts Museum, Istanbul (Hali 6,2 1984 p.155).

best regards


Posted by Lavergne Philippe on 07-13-2002 11:56 AM:

I missed to invite you to read Mr G.Paquin :

I found the second
and the third , again,:
on :
The Seldjuk one looks like a little like your fourth one :

to the next

Posted by David_Hunt on 07-18-2002 09:15 AM:

Hello Philippe and all-

Thank you so much for the color versions of my post- they will make a welcome addition to my documents folder- they really are striking. No reconstructed rug images yet, have been so busy, but hopefully... At any rate, Mr Paquin advances an interesting theory regarding design migration from silks to carpets, but represents just one facet of the evolution, migration and, I think this is important, reemergence of carpet designs and design elements. My feelings are that the design repertoir is dictated as much by the limitations and propensities of a two dimensional medium shared by both silks, carpets, and for that matter most all fabrics. They are fundamentally the same, share the same limitations, and are variations upon the same medium, hence the circularity of both design reemergence and the attendant and seeming circularity of the varied theories regarding design origin. A technological chronology would read Felt- Kilim-carpet-silk.

Also, I believe it important to note that, while at one time valid, Mr Paquin's assertion that the middle east has no indigenous weaving culture is no longer considered valid, numerous examples having been found predating the Seldjuk carpets. But this should come as no suprise, considering the ancient origins of designs and themes exhibited by the elements found in carpets.

Note the similarities, of inverse and reciprocal, between the designs of these Elamite seals and carpet borders.

It has been noted by more than one scholar, James Opie among them in Tribal Rugs, that the ubiquitous animal tree motif may be derived from Luristan bronze standard.

This Photo of a village in Luristan illustrates the custom of mounting sets of Ibex horns on the edge of the roof and overtop of entrance ways- possibly an ancient and talismanic practice.

Could the rams horn and animal tree motifs of this Balouch rug constitute the artifacts of an ancient cultural and artistic heritage?

Posted by Michael Wendorf on 07-27-2002 08:05 PM:

Dave #2 and Salon 22

Dear Dave:

Please compare rug 22 in the salon with the second rug you depict. Both with an ivory field. On rug #2 in this thread the ivory field is filled with octagonal motifs with 4 arrow like devices within each octagon. On rug 22 in the Salon, the arrow devices are similar, but are not within an octagon. The border on rug is 22 is very simple with rosettes on a reddish ground framed by natural brown wool.

I think that both of these rugs, woven centuries apart, show the influence of a warp substitution tradition.

On Marla Mallett's website, see links from Turkotek, she has a section entitled "A Few Published Articles." One of these concerns tracking the Archtype. I have found this article and Marla's lectures on this subject eye opening.

As an aside, two articles concerning Mr. Mellaart and Catal Huyuk are also found there.

Regards, Michael