Oversize Palas Images
Please follow the following link to some
oversize images of this Turkmen Palas It's large size, at approx 6.5 ft x 13.5 ft, makes it difficult to photograph (at least for me ). The lower image is a better approximation of color, but the large size in combination with this rather "active" pattern do render it somewhat transmutable.
Thanks for putting up an interesting salon.
All the Turkmen flatweaves that I have seen so far seem to be quite recent (20th century). Maybe the only exception are those "fish bone" design (not sure whether this is the generally accepted name) flatweaves. So, I am wondering whether there are any published examples, that could be significantly older, say pre 1850s? Or, are Turkmen flatweaves a completely recent phenomenon?
I think attribution of Turkmen flatweaves is pretty much uncharted waters. This is true for date and for tribal origin.
Like you, most of the ones I've seen are fairly obviously recent. I suspect that this is at least partly due to the fact that nobody much cared about Turkmen flatweaves until fairly recently (in fact, not many people care about them today), and many older ones were probably discarded as trash long ago.
"I suspect that this is at least partly due to the fact that nobody much cared about Turkmen flatweaves until fairly recently (in fact, not many people care about them today), and many older ones were probably discarded as trash long ago."
I would argue that, in general, piled pieces have always been more highly valued than flatweaves. And yet kilims from a wide group of weavers have survived. We have a lot of of Moroccan, Anatolian, Kurdish, Caucasian, Afghan, and Persian kilims.
Why then would there not be at least a reasonable group of Turkmen kilims that are, say 100+ years old? Perhaps there are?It is not my area, but I have not seen many OLD Turkmen kilims.
I suspect because they simply were not made.
That's a reasonable alternative explanation, and I think it's the correct explanation for the rarity of old Turkmen prayer rugs. Bear in mind, though, that many of the kilims made in those other areas were preserved because they were donated to mosques by the local folks. As far as I'm aware, this was not a Turkmen practice.
I'm not sure that the number of 100+ year old Turkmen flatweaves is trivial, although (like you) most of the ones I've seen are probably pretty young. The Turkmen appear to have been using synthetic dyes for more than 125 years.
It would be interesting to have the results of a serious study of the factors leading to the preservation of textiles in various cultures.
A Good Question...
Tim, Richard, All
I would imagine that those palas from the Weiderperg Collection,
such as this one above, have as good a chance as any of being old. I have seen a fair number of these palas in the market place over the years, and most do seem to have been recent, but remember a particular example which was said by the vendor to be antique and which struck me as singular,if memory serves, due to it's large size and fine weave.
They do seem of a utilitarian nature, and composed of materials
otherwise unsuitable for use as pile weave. Reed screens
were/are used extensively in the past and present (or at least plastic imitations) , yet old examples are rare.
I suspect that the relationship which these palas share with loomed fabrics in general could be both as instructive and interesting as the relationship between the palas and Pilework.