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Salon du Tapis d'Orient

The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please include your full name and e-mail address in your posting.

Part 2:
The Kaffel Cedar Chest Session at ACOR 7

edited by Steve Price (various authors)


4’8 x 3’10, early 19th c.  There are a number of Konya/Cappadocia prayer rugs with this border of stepped polygons or “Memling” guls.  With few exceptions, this border is on yellow ground, the mihrab is red against a green or (less frequently) blue ground, which is usually decorated with rosettes.  An ascending arrowhead motif on a diagonal bias is often seen in the prayer arch.  This example is the only one known to me of this type with a yellow ground.  The border is on white ground, and the mihrab is decorated with a hooked, ascending vertical motif.   The arch is topped with a bissected rectangle, possibly a representation of the Kaaba.  This is a recent acquisition.  If we had owned this rug prior to the publication of my yellow ground Konya article in Hali, I would have included it as one of the few prayer examples in the yellow-ground group.


Published: Hali 128, p97, #14 - "Heart and Soul - the Yellow Grounds Rugs of Konya"
2'2 x 2'0, Circa 1800

I included this piece in the Hali article on yellow ground Konya rugs.  While there are only a handful of yastiks that can be attributed to this group, I felt that this was one of them.  Its purpose is not obvious - the almost square dimensions and the lack of elems would argue against it being woven as a pillow cover, so a small mat is also a likely purpose.  I know of no analogies to this piece.


Published:  Herrmann, Asiatische Teppiche und Textilkunst, Band 1, plate 10; Sotheby’s London 18.10.1995; #74 (unillustrated); Hali 84, Auction Price Guide p.133.

4’1 x 3’10.   Late 18th/early 19th C. (dated 18th C. by Herrmann).   In the English supplement to ATT1, Herrmann wrote, in part - “…it differs from the many well-known and much published standard examples in that the usual main border with rows of diamonds has been reduced to an inner blue-ground guard stripe, and the yellow border with an ascending tree-like motif has become the main focus.”   Writing about an analogous fragmented prayer rug in Sailer’s Fragments (1988), Dr. Spuhler called this border motif a “rising blossom vine“ (Pl.22).   Another such example appeared at Sotheby New York, 3 June 1989, #158, described in the catalog as a “pinnacle of Turkish village weaving” (Hali 46, p.81).   An example from the Joseph Bezdjian collection having 3 borders (top and sides) and a bottom border of these “tree-like” motifs was published in Hali 105, p.27 and in Eiland & Eiland (1998), plate 155.   Another example, cited by Herrmann as related, has a very similar palette, a plain red mihrab, and a yellow-ground meander border characteristic of Ladik (Hali 5/2, p.20; Hali 36, p.96; Bernheimer, 1987, pl.2).  Having seen and examined the first three rugs in person (SNY, SLO and Sailer), Herrmann adds,  “..the fragment (Sailer) and this prayer rug (ours) are very similar in their deep primary colors, structure and soft handle. The (SNY example) has a subtler palette and a somewhat harder handle.  It is very tempting to see the latter as a product of the local workshop tradition, whereas the Sailer fragment and this rug are probably village/nomadic weavings." Herrmann and Sailer dated their rugs to the 18th century, Sotheby's to circa 1800.


4’3 x 3’7.  Late 19th/early 20th century.

Notable for the use of white cotton outlining in the upper border and in the upper portion of the mihrab, as well as in some small motifs in the spandrels.  Otherwise, a pretty standard Yuruk with nice soft wool, somewhat smoked.  Closely related examples include plate 87 in Turkish Rugs (the Washington Hajji Baba Club, 1968), virtually identical in all respects except for the cotton; Hali 25, p.71 (Christie's London, October 14, 1999, #12),  Turkish Handwoven Carpets Vol.3, #0220, Christie's New York, December 15, 1995, #112, Andrew Middleton’s Rugs and Carpets, p.44 (Phillips, NY, June 18, 1987, #19).  All of the cited examples feature the multiple-striped borders of linked arrowheads.


Published: Oriental Rugs from Pacific Collections, pl.28; Oriental Rug Review, Vol.10, #4. April/May 1990, p.8.
3’5 x 3’4. Third quarter 19th century.
Colors (11): Cochineal red, blue green, green, dark blue, mauve, apricot, dark yellow, ivory, light and medium blues, brown-black.

In the Pacific Collections caption, Murray Eiland wrote “This is the kind of rug that defies labels, as its ivory warps would not seem congruent with field design and colors, both of which suggest eastern Anatolian Kurdish work. The tightly packed knotting (84 psi) allows virtually no weft to be seen from the back of the rug, and the texture is most unusual”.  While the field design is evocative of Yuruk, the structure, the very thick pile, palette, and these multiple borders are not characteristic of Yuruk.  There are some eastern Anatolian prayer rugs with similar multiple borders that have been described as Kurdish (see, Ottoman Turkish Carpets, pl. 171), but this particular border arrangement of multiple narrow stripes (11, in this instance) has more commonality with a group of Reyhanli kilims of southeastern Anatolia, both secular (see Lefevre, April 25, 1980, #11) and prayer (see Petsopoulos, Kilims, pl. 217); a kilim offered by Marvadim on Cloudband in January, 2002, and the most similar to our rug, a small prayer kilim with 8 borders, published in Kilims, the traditional tapestries of Turkey, Hyde Gallery, Dublin, pl.10, now in the Albert Mazzie collection. (This kilim was displayed alongside our rug for comparison purposes at the session).


Published: Rippon Boswell, November 17, 2001, #173; Hali 121, p. 140.
2’7 x 1’3; second half, 19th century.

Ex-collection German Bogner (1938 - 1987) who was the carpet expert for Bernheimer in Munich for 27 years.  Bogner was the author of Alte und Antike Knupfarbeiten der Turkmmen (1977).  His obituary was in Hali 35, p.7.  The only other known analogy is slightly larger (2’10 x 1’2), published in Hali 2/3, p.234 (detail only), in a review by Hans Konig of the exhibition at Musee de L’Homme, Trocadero, Paris (1979) of Turkoman rugs from the Ashkabad Museum, and again in Hali 376, p. 38 ("The Ashkabad Turkomans”) and in Moshkova/O’Bannon’s Carpets of the People of Central Asia, p. 299, fig 135, in which the caption states: “Arabachi torbas are not common and the design of this may be unique”. While the comparable piece is rather somber, our example is much more colorful, with bright colors in shades of blue, green and pink.


Published:  Sotheby’s New York, December 13, 1996, #81; Hali 91, p.158 (uncredited review by Robert Pinner).
4’4 x 2’8.  Third quarter 19th century.
Wool warp, wool and cotton wefts, asymmetric knot open right.
Colors (7): purple-brown, madder red, midnight blue, saffron, forest green, ivory, walnut

"Rare" and "unusual" are two overused adjectives in rug hype, but in this instance both are properly applicable. There are only four other known examples of Chodor kapunnuks, and all have different designs.
1. private collection, Hamburg  (Loges, Pl. 116; Wie Blumen in der Wuste, Pl. 82)
2. similar to above, fragmentary - Fine Arts Museum, Askabad (both kejebe designs)
3. Hali 89, p. 128, Richard Purdon (all over pattern of small cruciforms)
4. Nagel, October 9, 1976,  #71, Ertmen top panel with 3 full guls and 4 half-guls, “curled - leaf” arms.


3’7 x 2’1.  Second half 19th century.
Notable for its spacious drawing, the “tomato-red” color, and a border more usually seen on Tekke chuvals with diamond guls (e.g., Hali 52, p. 125; Vanishing Jewels, pl. 28; Hali 81, p. 97, Ronnie Newman; Hali 82, p. 148, Chris. Legge; Collection HCS, pl. 44; Sotheby's New York, Decembe 14, 1995, #64; Collection HCS, pl. 85).  The major gul is identical to those of a chuval illustrated on p.97 of Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies III/1, in “Classification of Tekke
Chuvals by elements of design and technical factors”, by E.B.Long (a Group B piece).  Sixteen gul Tekke chuvals with undecorated (plain) elems are uncommon, most examples have elems (skirts) decorated with plants or flowers.  The following are some examples with plain elems: Sotheby's New York, December 16, 1993 (Jon Thompson sale) # 17; Collection HCS, pl. 47.  Thompson wrote in part in the caption, “….the sense of space, the felicitous color and some unusual
details… set this aside as one of the oldest of its type”; Coll.HCS, pl. 45, with an “X” border identical to ours that Sienknecht attributed to Eagle Gul-2.  A fragmented Tekke chuval with this identical primary gul, Lefevre, June 17, 1983, #37.


4’6 x 2’11.  Second half 19th century.  Symmetric knot

A full-pile chuval with original unusual selvedges and large (10'5 x 6") major guls and minor chemche guls only a little smaller.  The beautiful elem is identical to that of a chuval published in Wie Blumen in der Wuste, pl. 110, which is dated to the 17/18th century, and another such elem appears on a fragmented chuval sold at the Jon Thompson sale at Sotheby's New York, December 16, 1993, #94.  A similar, slightly smaller chuval in that sale (#25) with cotton whites was dated to the 18/19th C.   There are two basic borders in Saryk 9-gul chuvals: the Kochak motif seen here and a series of linked diamonds containing cruciforms, as in the Wie Blumen... piece.


4’1 x 2’8.  Early 19th century.

The field and borders of this chuval is pretty standard Salor - 16 chuval guls with quartered centers and diamond-shaped minor guls and a kochak border.  The relatively sparse use of silk and a darker tonality argue for an earlier date.  The elem design is this chuval’s distinguishing feature.  We know of no such design in any Turkmen elem or elsewhere.  There is an old cloth tag sewn to the back, from Knuchel und Kahl Moebel, Zurich, dated 14 December, 1934.

Discussion  Return to Part 1