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JBOC's  Notes on Oriental Rugs

Turkmen Rugs: Notes on Arabachy Rugs

 
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Arabachy Chuval

Arabachy Chuval
Turkmen, 19th century
145 x 56cm (57in x 22in)
Sotheby's Olympia, Fine Rugs and Carpets Including Islamic Textiles
Lot 27
Estimate: £1,500-2,000 Closing Bid 1,175 GBP
Published in Hans Elmby's Antikke Turkmenske Taepper/Antique Turkmen Carpets II, 1994.
Courtesy Sotheby's London

"In fact, maybe Arabatchi (sic) work is so hard to find because it's so ugly - the Arabatchi (sic) in a fit of embarrassment over the uniform ugliness of the wool and the drawing and the color of their various chuvals and torbas may have gathered them into  heaps and set them ablaze, hoping, like the villagers at the end of Frankenstein, that through fire they had cleansed the cosmos of ugliness and moral depravity. But no! . . . Somehow, a few of their wretched artifacts escaped, and like the monster rising from the rubble of the Baron's castle, their ugliness has once again been loosed on the world." Whither Turkomania? by Lawrence Kearney

"The next major development seems Moshkova-related and appeared in an auction catalog from Lefevre and Partners in 1977. There Thompson followed up his S-group breakthrough with another new label and group. These rugs were attached to an obscure tribe called the Arabatchi (sic), which had been mentioned in passing by Bogolubov, and who were described by Moshkova as using the tauk noshka gul on their main carpets. Beginning with such a main carpet, of a type not readily identifiable to another tribe, Thompson demonstrated how other pieces, including a type of engsi, were related on structural and color grounds. The existence of the group seemed clear enough, although not so firm as the S-group, but the Arabatchi label has not been so firm. Moshkova's comments about the tribe are not above reproach, as she contributed the highly dubious suggestion that Arabatchi designs are ancestral to those of other tribes.

With the Arabatchi (sic) in particular, the market witnessed the full flowering of a phenomenon that had been growing within the Turkoman boom. If a rug had a special label, it suddenly became more desirable. For some reason this soon became clear with the Arabatchi, whose rugs had never attracted attention for their beauty. It is no coincidence that news of their existence was announced in an auction catalog.

In 1978 the Werner Loges book appeared, which did not introduce novel material but seemed to ratify such new material as the Arabatchi label. Turkomania seemed to dominate the auction houses, and ever higher prices were commanded by the new champion, the S-group." TURKOMANS AND SCHOLARSHIP

"Plate 39. Ersari (Arabatchi? (sic)): (Ballard, Metropolitan Museum of Art), Metropolitan Museum of Art Mackie/Thompson, op. cit ., No. 47" The Rugs of Amos Bateman Thacher

Turkmen 18Årh. (Arabachy?) Kat.nr 163  ©Nagel Auktionen

Nagel Auktionen Rugs and Carpets 7 May 2002

Turkmen 18Årh. (Arabachy?) Kat.nr 16

Structure Notes on the Arabatchi

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open left. 10 knots per horizontal inch and 12 - 15 knots per vertical inch. 120 - 150 per square inch. Slight to moderate depression. Sometimes symmetrical side knots.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply animal hair, light to medium brown.

Weft: 1 shot 2 ply (1 ply cotton and 1 ply wool), brown and white barberpoled. Dr, Murray Eiland Jr. in Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide quotes Thompson in the A.A. Bogolyubov, "Carpets of Central Asia: Basingstoke, 1975. as specifying 1 shot 2 ply cotton and 1 shot 2 ply wool. I can not find my copy of Bogolyubov and I do not know of a sample that conforms to that description.

Selvage: 2 cord attached. Aubergine wool in Mackie Pl. 55

Pile: 2 Wool or animal hair singles singles. Hair in the Ballard Arabachy Mackie Pl. 54

Further Notes: Mackie Pl. 54 & 55 the dark brown is natural undyed.

Special thanks to Seyitguly Batyrov for help with teminology and spelling.

For Further Reading:


Thanks and best wishes,

J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

Visit Jozan.net - Arabatchi and OldCarpet.com


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