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Old July 24th, 2017, 01:38 PM   #1
Chuck Wagner
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 81
Default A Tekke torba, with recent radiocarbon date analysis

This thread is included to encourage discussions on other non-ensi Turkmen pieces that may be of general interest to readers.

Several years ago, there was an extended discussion on Martin Andersenís old Tekke torba, with a follow-up thread after he received his radiocarbon results. Links to these threads are:



I had an opportunity to acquire this 6 gul Tekke torba some time ago. It has several unusual features, and a color palette somewhat different than many Tekke pieces. Regarding the palette and design, Jim Allen offered the opinion that it is typical of pieces from the Akhal Oasis, and that the piece was probably very early 19th century.

Unusual design elements include the small diamonds around the tertiary and chemche guls, the rare checkerboard fill elements, the bright blue in the major guls (better seen from the back), and the unusual orientation of the short diagonals on the chemche guls.

The only other example I have seen of the short diagonal orientation is at the far left side of a piece posted in Martinís thread, from a torba sold by Kaminski Auction House:

Online comparisons with analog pieces from auction houses, and email discussions with other acquaintances motivated me to send a wool sample from the torba for radiocarbon dating, even though it was pretty clear from the homework that the piece was not of sufficient age to be dated unambiguously.

Along the bottom edge of this torba, there is a convenient divet that exposes the wefts, so I separated 3 weft samples and sent them to the radiocarbon dating lab at the University of Arizona for AMS radiocarbon date analysis.

The result is shown in the chart below. I believe it is safe to ignore the 20th century dates. The next most recent likely date range is 1802 plus or minus 19 years:

For comparative purposes, here is the result from Martinís torba:

Chuck Wagner
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