Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 10-24-2006 11:15 AM:

Shirvan Kilims

Dear all,

Three kilims scanned from different books. Although one of them is attributed to Kuba, they should be all from the Shemakha district of Shirvan.

I still have to make up my rating… You go first.


Posted by R. John Howe on 10-24-2006 02:16 PM:

Hi Filiberto -

I had to adjust my monitor to a width of 1200 pixels to get these three images to display side by side, but I think it was worth it for direct comparison.

Labelling left to right, A, B and C:

A: Better: Rating 5 Rationale: I think the colors on A are a bit less attractive than those of B. All three of these pieces seem pretty well drawn to me.

B: Better: Rating: 6 Rationale: Best color

C: Good: Rating: 3 Rationale: least attractive colors.

I wish I could evaluate the drawing more closely on these pieces, but they seem similar in quality to me.


R. John Howe

Posted by Richard Larkin on 10-25-2006 08:45 PM:


B is the clear leader for me at 8, a best. Everything about it exceeds the other two. The colors are excellent. Both the main border and the outside border are especially strong and well done in my view. I also prefer the variation in the minor decoration of the central field to the more static treatment of the other two. I'll give A a 6 and C a 5, both better.

Rich Larkin

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 10-26-2006 05:00 AM:

It’s difficult to choose between the first two.

While I understand why others may prefer B to A, I would choose A.
Rationale: I like its well-balanced design. It’s monumental but in a - how to put it? - serene, mature, calm way.

B apparently has better colors, a lively composition, and perhaps better borders yes… Overall I still prefer A. I find it relaxing.

C is nice too, but with a more “noisy” composition and (probably) inferior colors. And I think the borders, especially the external one don’t “work” as well as in the other two kilims.
A: Best, 8
B: Best, 7
C: Better, 4


Posted by Horst Nitz on 10-26-2006 06:54 AM:


A 7 handsome, dignified ?
B 6
C 4

Best wishes,


Posted by Wendel Swan on 10-26-2006 11:41 AM:

Hello Filiberto,

C – 2 Good
A – 3 Good
B – 4 Better

In my view, there is little to distinguish these three kilims from one another. I like the bold main border of B and its ivory outer border as well as the colors, but its field is a bit cramped and lacking in contrast. However, A and C are also crowded.

There is little sparkle to the colors in C and, more than the others, it lacks contrast of scale and colors.

All three lack the open areas that would emphasize the pattern elements. They certainly aren’t horrible, but they’re not distinguished either.