Posted by Richard Farber on 01-20-2004 11:58 AM:

the samarkand suzani

dear turkotickers,

i would like to comment on the suzani in the Charles Robertson, A Carpet Sale_watercolor.

there are two clear design elements that are usually classified as samarkand.

the wreath of leaves in a circle surrounding the flower, and the 4 + 1 motive which is the oil lamp design. I'll dig out the scources by the weekend.

what is improbable if not impossible is the SIZE of the embroidery. if we assume the height of the man on the porch as one meter fifty or sixty than the embroidery seems to be some five meters long by three meters wide !!!
perhaps somebody with good eyesight and a knack for measurement could make a more accurate guess.

i've seen quite a few central asian embroideries but none of quite that size.

and thank you filiberto . . . this promises to be an enjoyable salon.


richard farber

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 01-21-2004 04:38 AM:

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your comments.
With regard to the suzani painting, I wrote: as Thompson writes in the picture caption, the human figures were drawn to a smaller scale to add "sense of drama" to the composition.

Probably it looks like a "giant" suzani because the characters in the painting, camel included, are rather "dwarfed", while the suzani was drawn correctly in relation to the building.

My guess is that we should increase the height of the man you use as a measuring unit of the 50% - at least - to have a correct proportion with the architectural background.
I will glad to have more sources for the design of the suzani, please dig them out, thanks.



Posted by Steve Price on 01-21-2004 06:41 AM:

Hi People

Interestingly, all the rugs and kilims look to be more or less appropriately sized relative to the people and the camel. The only textile that is so out of scale that it's obvious is the suzani.

There is also the matter of the fringe on the suzani, about which there is a certain lack of consensus on another thread.


Steve Price