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April 15th, 2019 05:38 PM
John Carpenter
a tekke small rug border


Oh, I think we're talking about the same rug, both sides of which are illustrated in Post #33. In my response to Patrick I hoped I had made it clear that the main border of the rug illustrated above "Best Regards" in Post #33 is not like the type of elem in your Tekke ensi if only because the main border in my rug consists of diagonal stripes, defined by dark lines, in alternating shades of color, in this case red. These alternating diagonal stripes of color are an essential part of the pattern in the main border I am describing, and forgive me if I don't see that pattern in the elem of your ensi. Maybe if your photo were less fuzzy, I would see something different. You may care to check out the examples I gave to see what I'm writing about.
With regard to Tekke small rugs I think there isn't much of a "Tekke tradition," and that was a point, however imperfectly, I was trying to make with these three examples.

April 13th, 2019 12:35 PM
Steve Price John

You've got two Tekke carpets in your post, and I don't think you and Patrick are talking about the same one. The second one in your Post #33 has a main border that is probably the most common elem design in Tekke ensi. I don't recall seeing it used as a carpet border; it's certainly not part of the Tekke tradition to use it that way. The carpet that has that border is probably a 20th century product done in a workshop that uses traditional designs in non-traditional ways.

I own a Tekke ensi with the elem I'm talking about. It's pretty nice, but unremarkable. I put it here just to illustrate the design in an ensi elem. The image is fuzzy, but it does illustrate the point.

Steve Price
April 13th, 2019 05:58 AM
John Carpenter
a tekke small rug border


It's always a good learning experience to discover that I have overlooked an obvious Tekke ensi elem pattern that I should be able to find in most any rug book. So here is a sampling of rug books from my own collection where I did not find any Tekke ensi having an elem, a main border, or any other element resembling in its main parts the main border of the Tekke rug pictured in the last of the four photos in this current thread just before "Best regards, John." Diamonds of the same color uniformly arranged in a field do not correspond to the main border pattern in my rug which has diamonds arranged in diagonals with contrasting colors that usually alternate with each diagonal. Hence, for example, the ensi in Plate 18 of Azadi, Turkoman Carpets, really doesn't work.

Jourdan, Oriental Rugs, Volume 5, Turkoman
Mackie and Thompson, Turkmen
Tzareva, Rugs and Carpets from Central Asia
Loges, Turkoman Tribal Rugs
Eiland Jr. and Eiland III, Oriental Carpets
Tsareva, Turkmen Carpets, The Hoffmeister Collection
Pinner and Eiland Jr., Between the Black Desert and the Red
Grote-Hasenbalg, Masterpieces of Oriental Rugs

But your note did prompt me to go through my rug books again, and I did find a Chodor rug, Plate 14, in Schurmann, Central-Asian Rugs, with a main border with elements having a basic resemblance to the aforementioned border in my Tekke small rug. However, why don't you supply a photo or reference to a Tekke ensi with a border, an elem, or any other element resembling in its main features the one in my rug? That will be a helpful way of showing that we are talking about the same thing.

April 12th, 2019 02:52 AM
Patrick Weiler John,
It is a bit confusing to follow which rug is your "last submission" but if it is your post of April 3rd, the main border is used in the elem of typical Tekke engsis.
The other rug in that post has a main border with a device similar to those in the main borders of Tekke main carpets.
Patrick Weiler
April 11th, 2019 09:21 PM
John Carpenter
a tekke small rug

Hi All,

I am a little disappointed that no one has so far come up with a suggestion for the origin of the border in my last submission of a Tekke small rug. So I went to my rug books and came up with borders analogous to the one in my rug from a Yomud torba and a Yomud Mafrash from the first half and the middle of the 19th century respectively. ( Volkmann, "Old Eastern Carpets" Plates 101 and 102 ) They have the diamond and half-diamond pattern in a diagonal color scheme as does mine, but with a different pattern in the diamonds. A Karakalpake in Volkmann ( Plate 89 ) from the mid 19th century also has a border along similar lines.

Best regards,
April 3rd, 2019 07:07 PM
John_Carpenter Hi Steve and All,

Thank you to those who have given me and others insight into this sampling of small Tekke rugs. At the request of some of you, here are back and front photos of my last two submissions that may give a better view of color and weave in these rugs. Hopefully, some one some day will offer information about the border on my last submission.

Best regards,

March 23rd, 2019 10:44 PM
Steve Price
Originally Posted by Barrie View Post
Is this the usual amount of Saryk elements for a Tekke prayer rug?

Please either change your user name to your full name or send your name to Filiberto or me and we'll do it for you. Please see the paragraph atop this page.

To the best of my knowledge, the only Turkmen prayer rugs that predate the late 19th century are the so-called Beshir prayer rugs woven by settled Ersari. There aren't enough Tekke prayer rugs around to permit generalizations about their layout, motifs or design.

Steve Price
March 22nd, 2019 04:21 PM
Filiberto Boncompagni Hi Barrie,

Welcome to Turkotek. You are free to use the username with which you registered for browsing our forum, but for public posting of messages we really want people to use their names.
I suggest that you change your username to your actual name… You can do this through the button that says "User CP" at the left side, just below the introductory paragraph, on our Forum page. Alternatively, if you send it to me, I can do it for you.


March 22nd, 2019 03:00 PM
Barrie Is this the usual amount of Saryk elements for a Tekke prayer rug?
March 17th, 2019 04:06 PM
Chuck Wagner Hi John,

Seeing it close up now, what is a bit interesting about this piece is its departure from the norms.

The main border is made up entirely of motifs in common use as minor or guard borders on Turkmen pile weavings.

And the elem panels (the ends) display a form of the "dyrnak" gul, which is usually found on Yomud work.

As already noted, the minor guls are not especially common on rugs (as opposed to bags, etc.) - but the squared-off guls, close packing of the design, and the small turret border devices all still point toward later Tekke work.

It doesn't seem to me, to be a very late Afghan work, for what it's worth.

Here's an example of one that we have, a Tekke prayer rug from late 19th - early 20th century, with minor gul motifs in the border, and Saryk elements in the upper left and right panels:

March 15th, 2019 03:33 AM
John Carpenter Hi All,

Requested photos are enclosed of the back only of my first submission which I hope, along with my message, address comments from Rich and Chuck:

This part of Turkotek is for show and tell; so I really don't think there is some elusive essence of my enquiry (Rich #24) yet to be disclosed. With my third submission I am still hoping some one can show comparables to its border in other Tekke rugs. Consider that an enquiry an answer to which seems pretty elusive right now.

Chuck found a comparable to the minor gul in my first submission. With regard to that submission I had hoped that some analogy could be advanced for showing that just as the Tekke carpet, Plate 28, in Mackie and Thompson ed., "Turkmen...," has a Salor gul for its minor gul, a similar phenomenon occurs with respect to the Saryk minor gul in my rug, and we might see some variation in its occurrence in other Tekke rugs. That idea isn't too elusive, I hope; for we actually see variation in the minor gul in my first submission that I described in detail in #10. For Rich, who found the latchhook motif in this minor gul so elusive, I have submitted a detailed photo. There may be something interesting here if this half gul turns out to be in part an archaic version of the Saryk minor gul reproduced in a Tekke rug. Chuck's example from rugs on the market seems late, but then my first submission is fairly late as well.

One phenomenon in these photos is how the field color varies depending on how far I stood from the rug. The more distant shot seems more accurate to me. Once again, this shows how elusive accurate photos of red can be in oriental rugs. Of the color illustrations in Mackie and Thompson, "Turkmen," Jon Thompson deemed them "only of adequate quality." (Thompson, "Oriental Carpets..." p.175.



March 8th, 2019 05:06 AM
Rich Larkin Hi John,

However, she created this abrash in only the first seven inches or so of the field, measuring from where the weaver began the field on up. I suggest that she was using what she had and then continued with yarn that was more consistent in color.
I take it we are talking about the rug posted in Frame #14. It seems to me there is more of the horizontal streaking in that rug than just the first several inches of the field at the bottom. Counting the stack of guls vertically from the bottom, it looks as though the field around #s 5 and 6 is a solid color of dark red; but the rest of the field shows some of the streaking to a greater or lesser extent. Anyway, I do not want to make too much of an issue about how studied the streaking may have been from the weaver's point of view. I would think that there were several balls or skeins of yarn around the loom, a situation I have witnessed myself in a few venues, and the weaver was apt to grab for one or another as things went along.

However, as regards my own fragment, I had owned it a good many years before I noticed one day how consistently the color changed subtly but unmistakably from one horizontal line to another. I don't look at it as "contrived abrash" so much as a possible attempt on the part of the weaver to create a heathered look in the field to give the piece some life. Who knows? I will say that from my own experience, some persons indigenous to the rug weaving areas of the Middle East do not look upon abrash as something to be desired in a rug. And one can see blatantly contrived abrash these days in any number of rug shops. (I always wondered where the term "abrash" came from. Curious that the word, "rash," is part of it, as those blatant examples tend to give me one. )

One more point about the quartered minor guls.
The quartered guls you cited from Thompson bear only slight resemblance to the secondary gul in my first submission, but you can see similar secondary guls to those in my rug in Saryk pieces. See Jourdan, Plates 15, 16, 17, and 19.
I agree (though I do not have access to Jourdan). However, it seems the more notable phenomenon than the precise design details of the minor guls is the fact that simplified and diminutive versions of the classic quartered gul were selected for minor guls in the first place, rather than what we usually find in that spot. Of course, for what are probably aesthetically obvious reasons, the relative positions of the opposed like colors in the minor gul versions are the reverse of those positions in the principal guls; or at least, that is so in any examples I have seen. I think it makes for a dramatic effect.

Do try to follow up with the close-up of the field color in your first image. Anything showing those elusive latch hooks, which I have yet to spot, would also be great.

March 7th, 2019 04:27 PM
John Carpenter Hi Rich,

Well, the short answer to your idea about the abrash in my latest submission is: Unlikely. If your hypothesis were the case, then the weaver would have most likely continued with a contrived abrash throughout the rug. However, she created this abrash in only the first seven inches or so of the field, measuring from where the weaver began the field on up. I suggest that she was using what she had and then continued with yarn that was more consistent in color.
Responding to your thoughts about the field color of the rug in my first submission, I suggest you check out the tekke mafrash on Plate 67 of Uwe Jourdan.That field color is pretty close to the one in my rug. When I can, I will send a photo of the back of my first submission that will show the color resemblance more strongly. The quartered guls you cited from Thompson bear only slight resemblance to the secondary gul in my first submission, but you can see similar secondary guls to those in my rug in Saryk pieces. See Jourdan, Plates 15, 16, 17, and 19. My mention of Plate 14 in Thatcher was only to suggest the early use of a diamond outline for secondary guls resembling the ones in my first submission.

March 6th, 2019 04:47 AM
Rich Larkin Hi John,

This is the fragment I mentioned that displays at least three, probably four distinct colors of madder (i. e., red) yarn that make up the field. I find it difficult to dismiss the idea that this was an intentional weaving strategy, and I do not recall having noted the phenomenon in other Turkoman weavings of my aquaintance.

If the weaver was going for vibrancy, it worked, as the distinctly striated character of the ground is only conspicuous at close quarters.

Your last illustrated Tekke looks as though the same or a similar approach to filling in the field color was taken. Note that my fragment is not Tekke, but probably some species of Ersari (I am calling it Chub Bash). Nevertheless, it seems to me that the weaver of your rug had at least three skeins in distinct shades of red and was selecting from them deliberately in order to achieve those horizontal streaks of color, resulting in the familiar look of abrash.

March 5th, 2019 06:50 PM
Rich Larkin Hi John,

Have any of your questions been answered? I have read your posts a few times, and I am finding the essence of your inquiry elusive. For one thing, try as I might, I am not seeing any latch hooks on the minor guls of your first image. And I was hoping to see close-ups (front and back) of that one, as the field color intrigues me.

One interesting feature of your last-posted rug is the character of the abrash in the field. I have the sense that the weaver must have been pulling yarn from two or three separate skeins, differently shaded, that were at hand, as contrasted with one skein in which the absorption of the color had been very uneven. I have a couple of fragments (from the same piece) that I think indicate the same phenomenon that I will post to illustrate the point.

March 3rd, 2019 06:46 PM
Steve Price Hi All

I've replaced the images in John's posts (#18 and #19) with larger versions of the same ones.

Steve Price
March 3rd, 2019 12:39 AM
Steve Price
Originally Posted by Chuck Wagner View Post
Hi John,

It would be helpful if those were twice as large, at least.

On my screen they are only 2 inches wide.

My fault - John sent me very large images, and I resized them. Looks like I was overly zealous.

John, if you'll send those to me again, I'll give them more generous dimensions.

Steve Price
March 2nd, 2019 11:39 PM
Chuck Wagner Hi John,

It would be helpful if those were twice as large, at least.

On my screen they are only 2 inches wide.

March 2nd, 2019 10:59 PM
Steve Price Hi John

Each image file needs its own code line. Also, when you prepare a post, there's a Preview button right next to the Submit button, so you can make sure your post looks right to you before putting it into public view.


Steve Price
March 2nd, 2019 10:07 PM
John Carpenter Hi All,

I thought that all my photos would transfer with one code. Maybe not. Here are ( I hope ) the rest of the photos of my latest submission:

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