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Virtual Show and Tell Just what the title says it is.

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Old September 7th, 2019, 04:16 PM   #1
RedKing
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Default Mystery Ersari/Border Design








Dear Steve
Please could you or the kind members of the TurkoTek forum please help me more accurately identify the rug pictured in the attachments?

I bought it some 40 years ago in Saudi Arabia. It was then described as an Ersari (maybe Ersari-Beshir), but somehow I have a doubt or two -- particularly given the rather fine main upper and lower border motifs. I've only ever, once, seen these attributed to a juval, but this piece is definitely a rug (6ft x 4ft less fringes). It is quite finely knotted and heavy/firm in handle. Allowing for some fading (especially of the blacks) it is still in very good condition -- and loved.

My sincere thanks in advance for any pointers
Cordially,
Red King
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Old September 8th, 2019, 01:10 AM   #2
Chuck Wagner
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Hi Red,

In the 20th century Afghan context, this would be referred to as a Baba Siddiq piece.

They are sourced from the area north of Kunduz, between Qala-i-Zal and Imam Saheb, including a village named Baba Siddiq.

Parsons discusses these in his book The Carpets of Afghanistan.

The two major borders are very typical of this production.

The one with the floral element is sometimes called Beshiri, referring somewhat vaguely to an older attribution of Ersari origin, but nowadays thought of as Middle Amu Darya provenance.

This, however, is an Afghan piece.

Combining the borders with modified Tekke field ornaments is uncommon, but not unknown, and is not a traditional Turkmen habit.

The design and dyes place in the mid-20th century, and made for the commercial market.

Here is a Baba Siddiq that we own, also mid 20th century but with the traditional field motifs and colors used by weavers from Imam Saheb:



Regards
Chuck Wagner

Last edited by Chuck Wagner; September 8th, 2019 at 02:40 AM. Reason: Add image
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Old September 9th, 2019, 12:52 PM   #3
RedKing
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Default Mystery Ersari?Border Design

Hi Chuck,
Thanks for your prompt and very interesting reply to my post.
The mystery now deepens, giving me lots more research to do.
While I take aboard your comments about the possible Afghan Baba Siddiq origin of my piece, and see the almost exact similarities of the two normal borders, I'm left with those larger upper/lower stylized-tree borders.-- so far only seen on a Yomud Juval.
(see http://www.artpane.com/Rugs/R1003.htm)
There's also the fact that the major/minor guls pictured in your rug differ quite widely from mine.
Once again Chuck, my sincere thanks for your input.
Red
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Old September 9th, 2019, 03:44 PM   #4
Chuck Wagner
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Hi Red,

Actually, the tree motifs are very common on modern Baba Siddiq rugs; take a look through Google Images, with Baba Sadiq as the spelling and you'll see several.

Regards
Chuck
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 01:14 AM   #5
Andy Hale
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Funny to hear the village of Baba Siddiq mentioned. This rug could well be from there or any number of Turkmen villages that did contract weaving for the trade. It is certainly Turkmen from Northern Afghanistan. Similar things were woven by Turkmen refugees in Pakistan but I don't think so long ago.

Baba Siddiq is only roughly (and not practically) near Kunduz. It is about an hour (by horsecart) from Tashkurgan. When I visited in the 1970s it was only accessible by horse. They are Chakar Turkmen and don't consider themselves Ersari. (Most Turkmen I met in Afghanistan had no idea what an Ersari was, these Chakar included!)
They are top weavers and I learned a lot from them about weaving and Turkmen life.

Anyway, the rug is commercial production for the trade. It is a decorative weaving and doesn't represent anything more than the whims of a designer and the current market. Love it for what it is but understand that the designs don't particularly represent the traditions of the people who wove it.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 12:51 PM   #6
Andrew Leng
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In the early days of eBay I bought the modern prayer rug (Illustrated) with a similar tree design. I bought it because it looked a traditional design and I wanted something for a location with heavy wear.






Subsequently I did see an “old” prayer rug of very similar design but I cannot remember seeing any comment on its origin. I wondered If I had seen it in Parson’s book on Afghan carpets so looked through the pictures. It wasn't there but what I did find was this comment on colour plate 39 page 43 “the tree motif which features prominently in this piece is peculiar to the Taghan production.”

I Googled Taghan images and came up with a similar design prayer rug to mine on the website. https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...rug-1793069094
the contributor agrees with you, he says “This rustic prayer rug was made by an Afghan tribal weaver in the mid-20th century. The rug's construction, palette and inner border all point to a Baba Sidiq origin. The end borders, however, contain repetitive tree motifs that are typical of Taghan production. I have pored over my reference books on carpet design, but have not been able to attribute the style of the central medallions to any particular tribe or region. Regardless of the exact tribal connection, I believe it is obvious that this rug was made in the Mazar-i-Sharif area of northern Afghanistan.”

Mazar-i-Sharif according to Parson’s book was an important pilgrimage centre so it's quite likely the manufacture of this design is from round there. If people produced them for sale to pilgrims.

Baba Sidiq is to the north west of Mazar-i-Sharif and Taghan to the north east on Parson’s maps.


As the three prayer designs seems so similar I assume they probably come from the same area but I could not find the gul in Parson’s illustrations.
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Old October 2nd, 2019, 09:52 PM   #7
Andrew Leng
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An old looking rug that I bought has the same main gul as the prayers.






I liked the design and the very rich red and almost velvety look. Not at all like the usual Afghan carpet.The knotting has produced a very dense surface but also results in the odd “open” rows parallel to the warps. They show in the bottom image as short vertical pale lines. I presume it is some "fault" in the technique.



The prayer on the website is described as having a heavy flexible handle. Which is a pretty good description of this rug which I think of as rather stiff.

It has rather unusual design (to me) woven ends



The borders have a bright orange but within some of the central guls this and the surrounding slightly different red colour have faded to tan.

Any idea where this may have come from..
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Old October 3rd, 2019, 01:53 PM   #8
Chuck Wagner
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Hi Andrew,

They are all from the same region of Afghanistan.

Regards
Chuck
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Old October 4th, 2019, 12:03 AM   #9
James Blanchard
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Hi all,

This border design echoes motifs found in the elems of some old Yomud engsis. Here is an example that I've shared previously.

James

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Old October 6th, 2019, 11:57 AM   #10
Andrew Leng
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Thanks Chuck and James
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