Posted by Patrick Weiler on 03-01-2003 08:22 PM:


I spent a while inspecting my rug book library and found only a few rather obscure books.

Somewhere along the way I found a copy of Rare Oriental Woven Bags/Seltene Webtaschen aus dem Orient, by Heinz Hegenbart. It shows an exhibition of a collection acquired by Adil Besim, from a single individual, of mostly flatwoven bagfaces of the Shahsavan and others. It was printed in 1982. (I probably need Shahsavan by Tanavoli now to round out my Shahsavan section.)
It is in both German and English and all the pictures are in color. It must not be too obscure, because it is available on the internet through rug book dealers, but the weavings were probably quite novel to most collectors at that time. And it was not very likely found at Barnes or Borders back in 1982.

Yoruk, a book covering an exhibition in 1978 at the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, is also available on the internet. It has some items we would now identify differently than they did in 1978. It, too, is probably not rare.

The book Echte Teppich, by Hermann Haack, in German only, is probably a bit more obscure if only because it is not printed in English. It was first printed in 1956, and my copy is from 1971. There must have been enough interest for numerous publishings.

From the Bosporous to Samarkand was from an exhibition in 1969, and Kazak, by Raoul Tschebull, was printed in 1971. Lori and Bakhtiyari Flatweaves was published in 1976.

These books are not common, but were all printed at or beyond the cutoff of 1970.

For some obsessive reason, I have acquired three versions of Murray Eiland's Oriental Rugs. The first version, form 1973, the "New" version (third edition, third printing) from 1981 and the newest version with his son. It looks like I am missing a couple of versions!

What truly obscure rug books are out there?

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Richard Tomlinson on 03-02-2003 01:04 AM:

hi patrick

i am mainly interested in shahsavan weavings. you indicated you needed tanavoli's 'shahsavan' to round out your collection.

i only have the following books:

hegerbert's rare woven bags
the best of bach - catalogue
fraunkencht's shahsavan

i intend to buy the tanavoli book and wertime's trans caucasia sumak weavings book.

could you perhaps recommend any other useful books and hali magazines (issue number) that focus on shahsavan weavings.



Posted by Steve Price on 03-02-2003 11:51 AM:

Hi Patrick,

I don't think From the Bosporus to Samarkand (or, BS as it's sometimes referred to facetiously) is obscure, and it was influential in generating interest in soumak and related flatweaves.

One of my favorite more or less obscure books is Peter Saunders' Tribal Visions, published in 1980. It has some provocative essays; "Speculations around the development of Turkoman rug designs" and "The labeling of Caucasian carpets", both by Murray Eiland, and "The new Turkoman mythology", by Michael David.


Steve Price

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 03-02-2003 02:17 PM:


I know of a small group of Shahsavan-related titles:

Bertram Frauenknecht:
An exhibition catalogue of Shahsavan bag faces.

Taher Sabahi:
It is mostly history, but shows 42 examples or their weavings.

Richard Tapper:

John Wertime:

Richard Wright & John Wertime:

I am sure that diligent research would turn up more. There are not a lot of articles in the Oriental Rug Review copies that I have. I have not checked the Hali magazines - that would take a while!


The Bosporous book is, as you say, influential. It brought a museum exhibition to a wide audience and showed that you could collect these things and still have some credibility. (I hope)
The Saunders book is very good. It advanced many theories, some of which may still need exploration in more detail. I page through it about 2 times a year when I visit the town which has a copy in the library.

Patrick Weiler