Posted by Marvin Amstey on 06-03-2003 09:20 AM:

Khorassan or Persian Baluchi's

Good morning, Tom.
I see no mention of these NE Persian Baluchi bags which are extremely fine, velvet-like with an extraordinary surmey color for a backround:

Any comments about these relative to the other types presented?
Best regards

Posted by Tom Cole on 06-03-2003 11:41 AM:

Marvin.. presumably of a similar tribal group as at least one of the Khorassan pieces featured in the text. So called "Timuri" group, or 'Taimuri' as Jerry Anderson would spell and say it? A Turkic related design type featuring similar zoomorphic elements that occur in ancient Anatolian rugs. At the ICOC in Hamburg, I did an entire poster session on the relationship of some elements in the Baluch design pool with those of ancient Anatolia. Too long to go into now.. images not really available.. but it got some attention at the time, notably from John Thompson and Azadi

Posted by Stephen Louw on 06-04-2003 07:37 PM:

Hi Marvin and Tom
Another one with a turkic heritage (?). However the weave is fairly loose, with a lovely soft and springy wool.


Full bag -- bright daylight

Detail, memling gul

Posted by Henry_Sadovsky on 06-05-2003 03:26 AM:

Hi Stephen. Despite its crudeness and limited palette, I think that I would like your piece. Interestingly, it could not be any more different than either the "gay" 'Baluchs' that are the focus of Tom's presentation, or of the "star in octagon" bag at the head of this thread.

I challenge anyone to say what is the common "style" of:

- Tom's #3
- Tom's #7
- Marvin's "star in octagon"
- Stephen's ("Firoz-Kohi"?) bagface.

Such a juxtaposition demonstrates just how inadequate the designation of 'Baluch' is, and how unlikely it is that a 'Baluch' style exists anywhere outside of our imaginations.

The "landscape of 'Baluch' studies" totters.

Posted by Sophia Gates on 06-05-2003 12:37 PM:


Dear Stephen:

Yes - I like this too. But as Henry points out - it's VERY different from others posted. If you have time could you tell us about the knots, so forth?


Posted by Tom Cole on 06-05-2003 01:21 PM:

Stephen's bag is probably from Afghanistan, and I am sure it is open left. The simple Turkic inspired field pattern is consistent with Elphinstone's observations of an affinity with those people in W. Afghanistan (or E. Khorasssan, if you will) with their Turkic neighbors. The Aimaq ("Eimauk) live in yurts, except for the Taimuri who apparently inhabit black tents, according to Elphinstone.

Posted by Stephen Louw on 06-05-2003 03:42 PM:

Hi all

Thanks for your comments on my bag -- incidently, my wife's favourite carpet in our little collection. Tom is right, it is open left. The pile is interesting, with all the colours (two blues, a red, and a dark brown) being much longer than the light brown field. The back is complete, and I sewed it along the top to make for easy hanging, so I can't readily inspect the knots. In sunlight, it literally gleams!
Tom, could you provide the reference to Elphinstone.


Posted by Tom Cole on 06-05-2003 06:50 PM:

Stephen... from Elphinstone...

“One is surprised to find within the limits of Afghaunistaun, and that very part of it which is said to be the original seat of the Afghauns, a people differing entirely from that nation in appearance, language, and manners. The wonder seems at first removed, when we find that they bear a resemblance to their Toorkee neighbors, but points of difference occur even there, which leave us in more perplexity than before. The people themselves afford us no aid in removing this obscurity, for they have no account of their own origin; nor does their language, which is a dialect of Persian, afford any clue by which we might discover the race from which they sprung. Their features, however refer them at once to the Tartar stock, and a tradition declares them to be the offspring of the Moguls [Mongols?]....... I find it difficult to account for the number of Toorkee words which are met with in the language of these tribes. Why, if they be Moguls, should the have spoken Toorkee; and why if Toorkee was their language, should they have lost it, residing as they do on the borders of Toorkestaun? Why should they have adopted the Persian language, while the bulk of their northern neighbors speak Toorkee, and of those on the south Pushtoo?......The word, Eimauk, though I do not know that it is used in Toorkistaun, is the common term among all Tartars of the north and east for a division or a tribe. The nation I am describing, is correctly called the Chahaur Oeemauk, or four tribes and was in reality formed into so many divisions, although they have now branched out into a greater number. The original four Eimauks are the Teimanees, Hazaurehs, Teimoories, and Zoorees. The first of these Eimauks includes two other divisions, the Kipchauks, and the Durzyers; and the second includes the Jumsheedees and Feerooz-coohes. .........The Eimauks live almost entirely in camps, which they call Oard or Orde This is derived the Turksh word oordoo, a camp or army from we have formed horde ........ Their tents are almost universally of the kind called khirgah, which is used by the Tartars; but the Teimoorees, one of the Eimauks, prefer the black tent of the Afghauns. .... Two Eimauks, Teimooree and Hazaureh, however are now subject to Persia, This was owing to their position which is west of Heraut, and within the limits overrun by the Persians..."
---An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul
Sir Monstuart Elphinstone, 1815, Volume 2, pp. 202-206--

The light brown field of the piece is a corroded dye, mordanted with a corrosive element, possibly iron oxide.

Posted by Vincent Keers on 06-05-2003 08:24 PM:

Dear Tom,

Thanks for the salon. I'm having a great time.

I've this nice book from Parson. He speeks about Turkmen that arrived in the twenties because of Russian, communist pressure. Didn't these Turkmen had a thing or 2, to do with design etc?

Here's a rug that I can't figure out.

Kizil Ayak? Turkmen? Beloudch?
Everything is two ply. Wool. Except the wefts are one ply, two shoots.
Senneh open right.
Borders not original. Knots at the side borders are symmetrical.
Warp depression. ± 160 degrees
Vivid yellow. Red has a blue mist. White is snow white. Blue different shades.
Light brown. Dark brown.
It isn't the greatest rug in the world. But it's strange, so it belongs with me.

Best regards,

Posted by David Wallace on 06-05-2003 10:36 PM:

NE Iran Baluch rug

Hi all, Here are images of a rug I bought recently on ebay, similar to Marvin's bag. [It was originally described as 18c, which was later changed (input error, no doubt) to 19c.] Every imaginable shade of orange-red and red-orange is there. Other main color is blue-black, but appears black from a distance. Can't help anyone with what kind of knots. Best, David

Posted by Tom Cole on 06-05-2003 11:18 PM:

Vincent.. Your rug is from Afghanistan, a Turkmen weaving which is called Kizil Ayak in the Afghan marketplace. A well known type of rug in the Afghan marketplace, and a seemingly nice example of the type. The hanging device in the center is reminiscent of what one would see in Beshir weavings.

Posted by Tom Cole on 06-05-2003 11:20 PM:

David... Your rug is probably open left, from Khorassan, NE Persia. Nice border, always liked this border design type.. related to an ancient Anatolian/Seljuk proto type.. think the Seljuk example is in the Turk ve Islami in Istanbul, and may be published in Aslanapa's book. not sure though.. no time to look it up.. running out the door.