Posted by R. John Howe on 05-29-2007 09:55 AM:

A Konya Village Rug Fragment

Dear folks -

If I had real money, I think I'd like to own a lot of Turkish village rugs. 18th century if possible.

As things are, what I can aspire to is looking, hopefully, for fragments that can sometimes be, but are not always, affordable.

(On this latter point there were full-pile, yellow-ground Konya fragments at the ICOC XI dealers' fair for which large prices were being asked. I won't give a number, but think of what a four-bedroom colonial could have been bought for in the early 1960s.)

And occasionally I have been lucky. I own one large fragment of this sort that used to cover one wall of my office at work and that was, and is, a daily source of joy to me.

In Antalya, I think I may have gotten lucky again.

As I came into a dealer's shop there was a nice-looking fragment hanging on a stack of rugs near the door. Seeing that it interested me the dealer brought out some more. Soon there were maybe 30 such fragments of various sizes and types on the floor in front of me and we began a process of elimination. When we got to the first piece again (it was buried now on the bottom) it became clear to me that this was a piece I wanted if I could afford it. I was surprised at the very reasonable price asked for it and it came home with us (a dealer down the road who saw it immediately offered me twice what I had paid for it) .

Here it is.

It is one fragmented end of what was once a quite sizable yellow-ground Konya village rug.

It has good color and two well-drawn Memling guls in its field.

It's white ground border is effective and looked archaic to me.

Its minor field devices exhibit an array of colors and are connected in the area we can see.

It is dangerous to move too quickly to associate something you have bought and like with published material that may be far better, even important.

But I sent images of my fragment to a friend and he immediately said that the border on my piece also occurs on two pieces in the Kircheim collection published in the huge "Orient Stars" catalog.

He scanned the images there and sent them along. Here they are:

He also sent me an image of another similar rug, of which he knows. This latter piece (and the larger Kircheim fragment) let us see something of what the complete piece from which my fragment comes likely looked like.

Anyway, I'm pleased with this little Konya fragment and expect to get lots of pleasure from looking at it.

Comments, counter-opinons, whatever are welcome.

I'll be hard to offend about this one.


R. John Howe

Posted by Lars_Jurell on 05-29-2007 01:36 PM:

There is only one word to say:


Lars Jurell

Posted by Richard Larkin on 05-29-2007 01:38 PM:

Hi John,

You won't get any offense from me. A lovely little fragment, and I know what you meant with the opening sentence of your post. It would be nice to have that last image, but hey....!

Rich Larkin

Posted by richard tomlinson on 05-30-2007 04:53 AM:

hi john

i think some of these old yellow ground konya rugs are the most beautiful piled pieces one could ask for. simple designs and great colour combinations.

your fragment is a real beauty - one of the better fragments i have seen of this type. the border is wonderful. as you know this border design is also found in shahsavan soumac bags and mafrashes as well as many caucasian rugs. i think the white here works tremendously well with the yellow field.

would you take 3x as much as you paid? ha ha !!

nice buy !!!

buy the way, how big is your piece?

richard tomlinson

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 05-30-2007 05:10 AM:

I agree that it’s a nice wre... I mean, fragment, and should be a perfect companion for John’s yellow-ground Caucasian with the same stars… and a white-ground border too.

Oh, Richard, by the way, I always forgot to tell you that you can get capital letters by pressing the “Shift” key in the same time.



Posted by R. John Howe on 05-30-2007 06:04 AM:

Richard -

All of the pieces I bought in Turkey are currently in a freezer about an hour and a half away from me, so I can't measure precisely.

But it's between 3 and 4 feet wide and short of two feet deep.

Filiberto, some affectations about capital letters are deliberate (sometimes punctuation too; lots of novels, now, omit quotation marks; you gotta get it all out of context).

Perhaps Richard aspires to being the e e cummings of rugs.


R. John Howe

Posted by richard tomlinson on 05-30-2007 06:08 AM:


THANKS FOR THE TIP !!!!!!! :-)


Posted by Steve Price on 05-30-2007 06:19 AM:

Hi Folks

Servers come in two flavors - Windows and Unix. Windows servers aren't case-sensitive, Unix servers are. People who have used Unix servers for awhile often get into the habit of using all lower case letters as a simple way to prevent problems.

We're on a Unix box, by the way, and people who send me images to post may have noticed that I often rename them and use all lower case when I do so. e.e. cummings was WAAAAY ahead of his time.


Steve Price

Posted by Lloyd Kannenberg on 05-30-2007 02:29 PM:

Hello John,

A terrific fragment! It is a close match to Carpets 16-19 in the book "Konya Cappadocia Carpets" by Ayan Gulgonen. My apologies for not having access to a scanner, maybe someone else can supply a couple of images.

Congratulations on a great find!

Lloyd Kannenberg

Posted by richard tomlinson on 05-31-2007 04:28 AM:

unknown? unrelated?


the following rug fragment bears some design similarites with john's piece;

it has a white border with the same design and the field has large octagons filled with 8-pointed star devices.

there are obvious differences as well.

anyone prepared to guess the orgin of this fragment?

it measures roughly 4' x 2'6"

please note that it is currently on the market so you know what not to do!

richard tomlinson

Posted by Rich Larkin on 05-31-2007 07:53 AM:

Hi Richard,