Posted by R. John Howe on 06-05-2007 01:01 PM:

Private Collections: Kilims

Dear folks -

One of the large exhibitions at ICOC XI was entitled "Private Collections." It has lots of sides to it. Here I want to show you a few of the old kilims presented in it.

There were 67 kilims in this exhibition and we passed them daily at the conference, while going to breakfast. They are included in Volume 1 of the conference catalog with attributions.

Here are 9 of them. These photos were taken by Wendel Swan.

I have larger images so ask if you want to see a detail of a particular one closer.


R. John Howe

Posted by R. John Howe on 06-06-2007 09:26 AM:

More "Private Collections" Exhibtion Kilims

Dear folks -

Here are some more of the kilims included in the "Private Collections" exhibition at ICOC XI.

You will notice that sometimes they cannot be shown full-length in these images. That is part of the result of having to hastily move this exhibition into the conference hotel. One reason for buying the conference catalog is that all of these pieces are shown there "all edges showing."

Again, Wendel Swan took these photos.


R. John Howe

Posted by Kenneth Thompson on 06-06-2007 03:25 PM:

Online address for ICOC Catalogs?


Many thanks for posting the photos and for all the other information. I took some also, but haven't sorted them. (I wish I had had one of Wendel putting them all up the night before. It was quite a feat. Without his devotion, there probably wouldn't have been a private collections exhibit.)

Unfortunately, the catalogs were so heavy that I could get them into my suitcase (I already had the Josphine Powell volumes to carry.)
I can't find any way of getting them online.

Any suggestions,

Best regards to all,

Ken Thompson

Posted by R. John Howe on 06-06-2007 04:56 PM:

Ordering the Two-Volume Conference Catalog

Ken -

Dennis Dodds has given me the following information about ordering the conference catalog for ICOC XI:
A boxed, two-volume conference catalog was produced and available during the conference. Its paperback volumes are: Vol 1: Private Collections, and Vol 2: the Turk ve Islam Museum Collection. The set can be purchased by contacting Mrs Asli Mutlu or faxing to: +90 212 251 74 37. The price for Vol 1 and Vol 2 is $225US, plus shipping from Istanbul.


I have found that one must be both patient and persistent when attempting to email Ms. Mutlu. Her email mail box is frequently "full."

She is apparently the only source at the moment. ICOC is not yet offering this conference catalog on its web site under the books tab.


R. John Howe

Posted by Wendel Swan on 06-06-2007 07:08 PM:

Hi Ken and John,

Heavy as they might have been, you should have gotten the catalog books in Istanbul. You may know that I handle ICOC book sales. We believe that in a special arrangement Asli Mutlu will continue to sell the books for ICOC, but air freight charges will be high.

We have considered shipping a small quantity here by surface and offering them to the US collecing community, but it would still be a matter of weeks before that could happen.

There is no other source but Asli for them at this time, but I will be the first to know if there is.

As an aside, I packed the books in my checked luggage, but for the NY to Washington flight, it was overweight by about 5 pounds. I immediately knew what I had to hand carry on that leg of the journey. I think the two books weigh about 9 pounds.



Posted by Kenneth Thompson on 06-07-2007 12:09 AM:

Dear Wendel and John,

Many thanks for the ICOC catalog information. I knew that I should have bought the volumes before leaving Istanbul, but I also knew that British Airways’ baggage zealots would make life difficult over any overweight Not taking them may have saved a lot of lives. Given the overcrowding and overloading on the flight out, another nine lbs could have brought the plane down.

I will try to contact Asli hanim and see if she responds.


If you do by chance get any copies in, please let me know. I suspect you will have them before I get any response from Turkey.

Thanks again,

Best regards,


Posted by Wendel_Swan on 06-07-2007 07:58 AM:

Hi John and all,

I don’t know where and how it will again be possible to see so many
wonderful kilims as there were in Istanbul. Although I had previously
seen some Anatolian kilims using real camel hair to a significant
degree, there were probably 6 or 7 of them in the various exhibitions. Here
are three from the private collections exhibition:

This saph-like design kilim was about 15 or 16 feet long and
illustrates the power of using complementary colors in large blocks. It was used
on the cover of the catalog. It was truly stunning.

This kilim uses only stripes and it was glorious. There are several
traditions in the placement and use of stripes in kilims, including for
the backs of bags.

The Vakiflar kilims were great and those from the Josephine Powell
collection exceeded what I had expected. Then, of course, there were all
the pile carpets. It was an incredible experience to see room after
room after room of this marvelous material.


Posted by Rich Larkin on 06-09-2007 11:59 PM:

I think that's my password

John and Wendel,

Thanks much for putting up these fabulous pieces. They are truly exciting.