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Old July 23rd, 2018, 12:55 AM   #84
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 128

Hi Chuck, et al,

Here is my one example of this apparently later Baluch kind of weaving. I think the somewhat dingy look of the colors is evident, as its connection with many of the pieces in the 'war rug' link, in terms of secondary ornament and such.

It measures about 2' X 4', with maybe an inch extra on each dimension. Assuming it is Baluch, I wonder what the historical background is of this approach to design. I find it somewhat baroque in comparison to earlier Baluch work, understanding that several different discreet groups, some of them possibly not Baluch, were probably responsible for that body of work.

A few of the colors show signs of fading at the tips, including the sparely used green (see far left side of image) and a light mauve that shows beige at the surface, as illustrated in the 'leaves' on this tree. Interestingly, the faded tips look brownish to bronze, or gray, rather than the familiar white, or ecru. I suspect this has something to do with the natural color of the wool going into the dye process.

There are about 75 kpsi, not a very high count for this warp-depressed item, but the weaving is stout, and the piece is heavy for its size. Warps are wool; wefts may be dark gray cotton...the one miniscule strand available for chewing was so far inconclusive on the point.

As I mentioned earlier, I did not pay much attention to the war rugs, or late Baluch weaving in general, over the years; but this style of weaving, both in terms of the aesthetics and the feel and structure, seems to have come out of nowhere as far as I am concerned. Anybody think differently?

BTW, Chuck, were you suggesting that the 'later' style of Baluch, including the war rugs, were appearing in the Saudi Arabian souqs in your time there? I lived in Riyadh from 1966 to 1968. The war rugs, of course, had not appeared by then. But it was also true that the Riyadh rug dealers seemed to have virtually no knowledge or awareness of the international rug market at the time. The main staple there was South Persian tribal weaving, with a few urban Persian pieces. I do remember seeing just three or four ultra-fine Isfahans, and perhaps as many Nains. Also, medium quality red Tabriz rugs in room sizes (9 X 12 to 12 X 15) were ubiquitous in various homes and buildings, though I do not remember seeing that many in the souq. Maybe I wasn't looking for them. Also, there were a few Baluch and Turkoman of the traditional type, not so much ultra-new. The dealers there knew what the rugs were, but not in a way that suggested they followed international markets. In truth, some of the dealers were baffled by the fact that the few westerners there wanted old rugs. In the two plus years I was there (souq every weekend!!), many of them got savvy to the program in that respect.


Last edited by Rich Larkin; July 23rd, 2018 at 01:07 AM.
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