Posted by Jerry Silverman on 01-18-2006 02:55 AM:

You want color?

Dear T'Tekers,

All this talk about color has stimulated my competitive urges.

So I submit for your consideration (in the parlance of Academy Award campaigns) the following two pieces I've recently acquired.

The first is a Shahsavan pile bagface (24" x 24"). These are pretty uncommon. My piece is a much less refined version of a bag that Wendel Swan owns one half of and Joe Fell the other. (If Wendel or Joe wants to post a picture of their piece for comparison, please do so.) But it shares a similar design and vivacious use of color.

The second is a Jaf Kurd (33" x 25"). It's colorful even by the standards of Jaf Kurd bags.

As best I can tell the colors are all old, without synthetics.

At the risk of allowing me to say these are beautiful because I like them, perhaps one or another of you would like to hold them up to the standards John has highlighted.

And since I don't get up early enough to get the good stuff at flea markets, these were both bought on that famous internet flea market, eBay in the last couple months.



Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 01-18-2006 03:30 AM:

Hi Jerry,

Beautiful pieces and lovely colors, no doubt about it.
Photos are a bit dark Ė on my monitor(s), that is.


Posted by Jerry Silverman on 01-18-2006 04:38 AM:

They appear "a bit dark" because the lightest color on the Shahsavan piece isn't white: it's ivory. The Kurd has a pure white. The rest of the colors are very saturated.

I ran them through Photoshop to tone-down the brightness the flash imparted. Photoshop, in the hands of someone not trying to "punch-up" colors to create a false sense of vividness, can be very helpful in restoring actual levels of brightness and contrast. (Not that I'd ever suggest that there are dealers out there who'd "tinker", shall we say, with the color rendition to make their otherwise dowdy pieces sizzle.)

What I see here is just about right.



Posted by Amir_Aharon on 01-18-2006 10:47 PM:

Hi Jerry,

Here are two pieces with similar designs from my collection. The tiny sumak double bag is probably Shahsevan with their typical cruciform grid. Interestingly the whites are woven with cotton and are not ivory colored as in your "Shahsevan" pile panel. The white in my Jaff though is ivory colored wool.

The rhomboid white border design appears in my Kurd Jaff and in your pile "Shahsevan" panel. The Jaff Kurds spend there winter in Iraq and there summers in the mountainous area close to Saqqez in Western Azarbaijan of Iran; not too far from encampments of Shahsevans. Could it be that your cruciform PILE panel is actually Kurdish? I'm not so sure myself; 99% of the old Shahsevan bags are sumaks. The multicolored fastening top portion with the slits is Shahsevanish !!?

By the way, It seems that the Jaff piece has at least one of it's borders missing.

Having said all that, I find the color blend of both panels extremely
attractive; thank you very much for showing them to us.

Amir Aharon

Posted by richard tomlinson on 01-20-2006 10:50 AM:

Hi Jerry

Re; your Shahsavan bagface - you can count yourself very lucky to be the owner !!

I salivated over that piece for 6 days and 58 minutes before deciding not to buy it ;-)

I sat comparing / contrasting it to images of Wendel's piece. I wanted it to be the same but no matter how much I tried I couldn't convert it !! ( I see you recognise that too) - but then again Wendel's piece is what I regard as the ULTIMATE in Shahsavan pieces. I hope one day to see it in the flesh.

Your piece is still a very fine specimen.

Amir - should you ever get bored with your tiny shahsavan
bagset, i would love to discuss a retirement plan for its existence.

richard tomlinson

Posted by Amir_Aharon on 01-21-2006 09:15 PM:

Hi Richard,

The tiny Shahsevan is so fragile and in fact she is only seventeen (inches!!), so she has these two bigger (not older) brothers watching her. Seen in the image are Afshar Khan Khorjin to her right and Turkmen Khan to the left. To get close to her you have to catch them off guard.

As to her retirement plan, she is genuinely flattered by your interest. Sometimes, "All you need is love" and a lot of patience. Who knows, she may want to elope with you one of these days. The other two, are only half-brothers anyway. You can see that they are a different breed altogether.

Good Luck!,

Amir Aharon

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 01-27-2006 05:19 PM:

Hi Jerry
Cangratulations on your purchase, I think? I bid on this one myself.

What got me going, besides everything else, was use of white this border. Really nice!


Posted by Jerry Silverman on 01-27-2006 06:00 PM:

Exactly, David.

I have a theory that I'm just about ready to proclaim as an axiom, and that is: a rug's attractiveness is directly related to the amount of white used.

I first noticed this when I participated in a "Good Rug. Great Rug." panel. The idea of this exercise is to judge which of two very similar rugs are "better". The audience also participates. In every instance where one of the rugs had a white border it was preferred.


Perhaps it has something to do with colors appearing more vivid surrounded by or on a ground of white. Maybe the white serves to attract (or focus) one's attention more. In truth, I can't tell you why. But I've since participated in several more "Good Rug. Great Rug." panels with the same results every time. I know this doesn't qualify as any thing more than anecdotal evidence - but it sure feels right.



Posted by richard tomlinson on 02-01-2006 08:31 AM:

use of white

jerry, david

i too like pieces with white (actually i dont like cotton white, but prefer ivory white wool)

i find the use of this colour extremely important in the overall balance of rugs, and think it is vastly underestimated.

here is a piece that i think is ugly - it has white cotton borders but the white is almost overpowering. it is blinding.

but that is just a subjective opinion.

richard tomlinson

Posted by James Blanchard on 02-01-2006 10:59 AM:

Hi all,

I agree with the observation/hypothesis about the importance of white in bringing a rug's colours to life. I also find this especially effective in the border. Here is a small rug (Khamseh?) that would not have attracted me nearly as much without that white inner border. I find that it accentuates the field colours nicely. Now if I could only do something about that stray pink/orange hexagon....



Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 02-01-2006 11:14 AM:

Donít worry James,
Just call it pink/apricot.
Nice bags over here!