Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 01-27-2003 05:49 AM:

What about this one?

Dear all,
I couldnít avoid to remark the similarities between Joe Fellís Anatolian (perhaps Kurdish) Memling gul rug :

and this one:

Bennettís "Caucasian", Moghan section, plate 206.

This is the caption:
"This is a beautiful example of the Memlinc gul lattice which, to judge by the asymmetry of the design, in the right-hand portion of the field, is either the work of a novice weaver or of a genuine nomadic tradition. The piece has particularly beautiful colours and is obviously of some age. Mid- to late 19th century. 252 x 137 cm"

I know that the Memling gul is a fairly universal design, so the resemblance between the two rugs is not terribly surprising. Nevertheless it makes me wonder how one can establish the provenance of these two rugs? By the structure, I guess.

Bennett writes:
"In structure, Moghan rugs differ from most other Caucasian weavings in that a fairly high percentage have cotton warps and wool wefts. When the foundation is all-wool, the wefts in apparently old pieces are dyed blue. They are also comparatively finely knotted-of all the examples for which I have records, and the attribution of which to Moghan is not in doubt, none fall below 960 per sq. dm (62 per sq. in.), the largest number have between 1.050 and 1,250 per sq. dm (67 and 81 per sq. in.) and a not inconsiderable number have knot counts as high as 2,000 per (129 per sq. in.)."

So, what should be the structure of the Anatolian rug, instead?


P.S. - Iím not particularly fond on structures - on the contrary - but Iím trying to learn how to sort them out.
P.P.S. - Could Bennettís one be Kurdish too?

Posted by Steve Price on 01-27-2003 11:17 AM:

Hi Filiberto,

I think the most interesting thing about the one from Bennett's book is the fairly obvious ongoing experiment on the right hand side of the field, as the weaver makes a transition from four motifs per width to three (or vice versa, depending on which end was woven first).

The colors in Fell's rug appear to be very much better, although the color reproduction in Bennett's book is not very good and the rug probably looks much better in person than in the photo.


Steve Price

Posted by M. Wendorf on 01-27-2003 12:20 PM:


Hi Filiberto:

Structure yes and also colors, color combinations and drawing with particular emphasis there on borders, minor and major. This would be the only way to make a tentative distinction among these powerful rugs.

The Fell rug was also exhibited at Minasian's last year. I do not recall the structure exactly, but expect it has an all wool construction consisting of double brown wool wefts and ivory or tan two ply wool warps.

These rugs are usually assumed to be Kazaks or Moghans implying then that they were woven by Azeris. A Kazak would be more likely to have red wefts and the Moghan some cotton as in the Bennett rug. However, Fell's rug and probably quite a few others may well be Kurdish. In addition to the structure noted above, I would look for deeply saturated earth tone colors like those on the Fell carpet. I believe the collector Jim Burns would go further and rely on the diamond and hooked devices found within or on the stepped polygon device the "memling gul" which he associates with the Herki.

Thank you, michael wendorf

Posted by Yon Bard on 01-27-2003 04:31 PM:

The Bennet rug is a clear case of 'internal elem.'

Regards, Yon

Posted by M. Wendorf on 01-27-2003 04:54 PM:

Sometimes you are neither up nor down

Hi Yon:

Read which way?

Regards, michael

Posted by Yon Bard on 01-28-2003 09:35 AM:

Michael, read as the picture is shown. True, there is also a 'mini internal elem' at the top, but the one at the bottom has the expected proportions. And, although we don't know for sure, coming from a respected book it's likely that it is shown in the 'correct' orientation.

Regards, Yon