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How to navigate SpongoBongo and find anything. The problem is that this site mirrors my thought process and it is hard to find things. The secret is that it is intended to be navigated from Google. But if you want another way try my site search. Also try Oriental Rugs and Carpets Site Map.

Question for Steve Price, When are Afshar Really Kurds?
Steve Price has assertained that, "Afshar and Kurdish are not mutually exclusive". With such an Amazing and revolutionary notion I just had to explore what Steve means. Read about it on Turkotek-Watch.


Detail - Chakhansur Baluch Rug Northwest Afghanistan Late 19th
I Started off by writing about my upcoming rug talk but what is really important is:

The Textile Museum Fall Symposium

This year I will attend Rug Convention or The Textile Museum Fall Symposium as they call it now. I haven't gone in years but it seemed like a good time to try it again. Who knows, if this is not too tough on me I might attend other rug world events. I have been a bit of a Troglodyte.

The old name was Rug Convention and now they all it the Textile Museum Fall Symposium. "This year's program will be held October 17-19, 2008 on the topic Cultural Threads: Exploring the Context of Oriental Rugs and Textiles. Complementing the fall exhibition Timbuktu to Tibet: Rugs and Textiles of the Hajji Babas, the weekend conference will feature a varied program of presentations by scholars and collectors, an evening reception, exhibition tours, and a special “Show-and-Tell” session. For more information, including registration fees, click here." I am especially looking forward to hearing Wendel Swan and Tom Cook. I hope I get the chance to look in at the Timbuktu to Tibet: Rugs and Textiles of the Hajji Babas show. Jon Thompson a popular British author is giving a walk-through Sunday mornings.

It is exciting times at the TM. They have one of the best board of Trustees in years. It helps that a real rug collector like Bruce Baganz is the President and other rug collectors are well represented on the board. If any readers and friends will be at Rug Convention feel free to look me up.

N.B.

Bertram has posted new images at his web site. Well worth a look. http://www.Frauenknecht.com/index.html

Rug Rag has put up a fascinating Rug Style Guide

Tea and Carpets has posted Tribal Rugs: How The 1960s Changed The West’s Taste In Oriental Carpets. I was sorry to miss Charles on his visit to the States

I understand Christine Brown gave a nice program this (Saturday) morning at the Textile Museum on "Uzbek Clothing: An Historical and Ethnographic Overview”. If you missed it you can see a review of the talk on R. John Howe: Textiles and Text in a few weeks.

August 16 Rug & Textile Appreciation Morning: "Rug Repair: When and If to Do It" by Ali Aydin master restorer of Mark Keshishian and Sons. Saturday, August 16, at 10:30 am The audience is invited to bring clean, well-vacuumed examples related to the title of the program. Seating is limited, so please arrive early. FREE; no reservations required.

Apologies about the obscure rug repair image to the left. I have been made aware by Kirk Keshishian that the perspective was not great and the lighting was sub-par.

The more things change the more they stay the same. Call these a new experiment: Farrukh Beg the Mongol artist, Turkish Rugs, The Abbasid Dynasty, Soltan Ibrahim Mirza, Asiatic cheetahs in Mughal Art, Turkmen Rugs, Sarouk Rugs and Carpets, Persian Rugs, Abadeh Persian Rugs, Bats in Oriental Rugs and Textiles, Tabriz Rugs, Mohtashem Kashan Rugs

TM to Honor Keshishian and others at Gala

Additions to the Notes:

Igdir Turkmen Rugs: Main Carpet 1 half 19th Century A remarkable carpet the field is magnificent and the ends are almost too good to be true. How does Rippon Boswell Wiesbaden do it? Then again if they have a good reason not to call this Turkmen Ensi Ersari I wish they made it clearer. Maybe they did and my German is so bad that I missed it. see Turkmen Ensi Late 19th Rippon Boswell Lot 168. Another spectacular piece is Eagle Group Tent Bag before 1800 Rippon Boswell Lot 128

From Sotheby's there are some great examples. With Sotheby's I respect and admire their consistency in attributions and their estimates. Good old Myrna Bloom , she really has an artists eye for rugs. See: Tekke Kapunuk ex Myna Bloom and Tekke Juval ex Myna Bloom. Also not from Myrna but interesting are Middle Amu-Darya Valley flat-woven 19th C Lot 177 and Yomud 7 sided Asmalyk 19th C Lot 62. I wrote about Yomud 7 sided Asmalyk 19th C Lot 62 before in an auction review that Alan Marcuson asked me to write for Cloudband. Then again maybe I offered it to Alan. I miss Alan, he is far too quiet lately. He is one of the truly exceptional people and has an amazing capacity for good.

Certain rugs are often cited and discussed so I have been adding them in as I think of it. See: Tekke Rugs: Tekke Tree Animal Asmalyk SH No VT 716 and Tekke Rugs: Tekke Asmalyk flat-woven 19th C Lot 19

Turkotek has an interesting discussion going about a Beshir Torba. It does not look right to me and then I realized Beshir Rugs and Bags have Borders. Now Steve Price is on the right track as you can see in Steve Price's comments on the Torba on Turkotek.

Bird Asmalyk Dudin SME 26-52/1

When Jim Allen starts one of his works on rugs there is an odd quality to it. Jim's work is a cathartic process in that he takes years of reading, research, assimilation and handling great rugs then Jim writes it in an almost stream of consciousness style. The problem with Jim's process is that he knows what he is talking about but unless you have seen what Jim has seen and read what Jim has read some of his points are less than obvious. So as Jim posts this on Turkotek he also sends it to me and I start filling in the pieces. Jim does not always include all the rugs he references so I add them in and also give hem to Jim if he wants to use them on Turkotek.

Take a look at The S Meander Border Seljuk Rug Alaeddin Mosque. We can see that Jim's S Meandering border is a 13- 14th Seljuk Turkmen border. I will let Jim develop that one as he goes along.

See also The Mabry Rug, The von Bode Dragon and Phoenix Rug and Marriage of the Foundlings fresco by Domenico di Bartolo

Bergama Area Yastik w/Single Weft Keshishian Collection
When Harold Keshishian showed me his
Bergama Area Yastik w/Single Weft Keshishian Collection I was struck by the unusual handle. It was very similar to the Purple Group Tekke Ensi I got from Jim Opie years ago. the reason why is that it has a single weft structure. Obviously single weft Bergama yastiks are rare, as are single weft Tekke rugs.
My old friend Jim Allen is developing some ideas and I think it is interesting:

The S Meander Border - Jim Allen

Since Jim is developing the idea on Turkotek I posted the article on TURKOTEK Watch The S Meander Border. I enjoy how Jim develops his ideas and I think he adds a great deal to the discussion on Turkotek. Who would have thought that Jim would bring out the best in Steve Price.

Don't forget July 19 Steve Price at the Textile Museum
Rug & Textile Appreciation Morning: “Turkmen Potpourri”
Saturday, July 19 10:30 am

Karapinar Red Ground Tulip Rug from the Textile Museum

Turkish Rugs by McCoy Jones and Ralph Yohe

H. McCoy "Piggy" Jones the O'Connell Notes under construction. If anyone can share anything about Jones please let me know.


Bill Price Shahsavan Beetle Bag
I had dinner with Harold and Melissa Keshishian to celebrate the 4th of July. When I got there Harold asked if I knew who Dr. William T. Price is? Well of course I do, Price is one of the great collectors and he is mentioned in a few places in my notes including Shahsavan Bags: The Bill Price Shahsavan Beetle Bag lot 58.

The other thing Harold was concerned about was John Howe. Harold has a whole group of people who he watches over and John is one of them. So here is the list of John's current articles. Jeff Krauss and John Howe on Blue in Rugs and Other Textiles, Part 1, the Lecture - Jeff Krauss and John Howe On Blue in Rugs and Other Textiles, Part 2, Pieces You Could Get Your Hands On - DC IHBS Hosts Philadelphia Rug Society, Part 1: Caucasians John's writing is far to intellectual for me but Jeff Krauss is brilliant and he makes sense to me.

Harold also acquired an amazing Bergama Area Yastik. I hope he remembers to bring it tomorrow so we can photograph it and scan it. The piece is very old and has a handle almost like a Turkmen rug. I never touched a Turkish rug or yastik with a handle like this one. This is definitely the sort of yastik Jim Allen should see.

If Cecil Edwards is to be believed OCM carpets were the best of Persia/Iran. Edwards said Iranian production centers produced three grades of rugs but OCM constituted a defacto fourth grade. So where are all the great OCM carpets. I regularly see Benlian Tabriz Rugs and I now and then see PETAG Rugs but outside of this OCM Kerman Mat Rug OCM rugs are not identified as such at auction. I wonder why?

Fire Temple at Niasar Cave Near Kashan

Turkish Rugs: Smyrna Carpet 18th C

Turkish Rugs: Smyrna Carpet 18th C Lot 129

Coffee and Carpets Blog has a new article; Turkish Prayer Rugs And The Gates Of Eternity. I am used to Charles Recknagel's other blog Tea and Carpets. Maybe he needed a little more caffeine in his bloging.

One of the Dumbest of all my Mistakes:
I wrote about The Widener Mughal Animal Carpet. It was catalogued it as being 17th century and it is not. The carpet is from Lahore circa 1590. How did I screw up? All these years I had it listed as being in the National Gallery of Art when it is actually in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Fortunately I suspect that no one ever read that series of articles. Over the years I have learned about Islamic Art and Carpets through this site. My system for learning is that I write, I refine and I correct. I always hate it when I let dumb mistakes slip past me for so long.
Fragmentary Love
The Color & Beauty of Early Village Rugs from the Middle East

June 15 - July 31, 2008
Gallery51
51 N. 2nd St Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.413.3191
www.gallery51.net
Tues. - Sat, 11 - 6

Konya Double Star Rug, 18th C or earlier. When I reduced the image it was difficult to get the colors right. The orange and purple are as you see in very old Anatolian weaving. The red is deeply saturated.
Plastic or Nylon in Afghan Rugs
On Turkotek two separate threads brought up Afghan Rugs with plastic mixed in the wool. No one answered so I thought I may as well comment. My experience is that bits of plastic get mixed in with the wool and make their way into Afghan Rugs. I wrote about the rug to the left in an article that I wrote last century called Afghan War Rugs. My brother Jim who is now a photographer in Tokyo theorized that the fiber was from nylon rice bags. It sounds reasonable to me, tribal and village weavers use nylon bags to hold wool. The rug to the left is from prominent war rug dealer Andy Hale of Anahita Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Mark your Calendar July 19 Steve Price at the Textile Museum
Rug & Textile Appreciation Morning: “Turkmen Potpourri”
Saturday, July 19 10:30 am
Turkmen rugs and textiles are known for their vibrant colors and geometric patterns. Join Steve Price as he shares a variety of rugs and textiles from his own collection. The audience is invited to bring clean, well-vacuumed examples related to the program. Seating is limited, so please arrive early.
FREE; no reservations required.
TURKOTEK WATCH Ghazni Wool Rug from Afghanistan
Nice post by Dr. James Blanchard.  I always enjoy the careful measured way he answers posts. However every once in a while he gives an answer that is slightly less than spot-on. Blanchard wrote, "I think that "Ghazni" refers to the type of wool, which is soft and silky. Ghazni actually referred to a breed of sheep raised by Pashtuns in Southern Afghanistan. During the Soviet/Afghan war the weavers in the Pakistani camps did not have access to their normal sources of wool and Ghazni wool was imported since it was closer to what the weavers were used to. Later Ghazni became a trade term for any native wool. Blanchard also says that the wool is "soft and silky". This again is not quite right. Actually the wool is stronger and thicker in diameter than merino wool. It give the illusion of being "soft and silky" because of straighter (less crimp) thicker strands which are almost like fur or hair.
Oriental Rugs and Carpets made in Jerusalem

One of the nicest parts of Saturdays at Mark Keshishian & Sons is the people I meet. Recently I had the chance to meet Textile Museum Trustee and former Under Secretary of State Stanley Roth. In the course of talking we got on the subject of Jewish Rugs. Much to my chagrin when I went to show Roth my notes on Jewish Rugs they were gone. So now I start to rebuild.
Jewish Rugs: Marvadia Carpet Ottoman Palestine 1930, Jewish Rugs: Marbadiah Workshop Jerusalem 1920, Jewish Rugs: Bezalel School Jerusalem Early 20th, Jewish Rugs: Marvadia Wolf Carpet Jerusalem 1930, Jewish Rugs: Marvadia/Morvadia Carpet Jerusalem 1925

Tea and carpets has a post on The Jazz Age: Gowns, Tuxedos, And Chinese Art Deco Carpets . It made me think of Chinese Rugs: Chinese Art Deco Carpet C. 1930 Christie's Lot 234

Could they really be insulting Bruce Baganz? I sure hope not but those Turkotekers can get a little carried away sometimes.

Breaking news from Turkey: Massive Cover-up at Çatalhöyük

R. John Howe's Daniel Walker: “Classical Fragments”. A Review (that expresses great praise of both Daniel Walker and the Textile Museum.)

Dr. Jon Thompson to Receive The Textile Museum's 2008 George Hewitt Myers Award
Congratulations to Jon Thompson on getting a Myers. I had thought he also received a McMullen years ago but I do not find on a note on that. The Myers is a well deserved recognition of Thompson's contribution to the field of Oriental rug Scholarship. (God bless that Bruce Baganz and the rest of the Trustees and staff at the TM who do so much for the study of rugs.)

RugRag tackles Rug odors in their article Our Rug Smells!


Shahsavan Mafrash Circa 1880 Lot 2001
Ritchies Auction Decorative Arts
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 7:00 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 7:00 PM Includes Carpets
Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 7:00 PM
http://www.ritchies.com/

Jason Rezaian of www.rugjones.com sent me a fun and introspective article he wrote called Oh no, not another Persian rug shop

Caucasian Rugs Caucasian Carpets

Hello,

I am planing on coming up to New York for the Sotheby's Carpet preview. Instead of just coming up on Sunday I am planing on spending a few days. What to do, what to see? Is the Hajji show worth seeing? Are there any other particularly interesting shows or stores to visit. I am open to suggestions.
Thanks,
Barry O'Connell
JBOC@spongobongo.com

Sotheby's New York  Spring Carpet Sale

Session 1: Wed, 11 Jun 08, 10:00 AM, Lots 1 - 146
Session 2: Wed, 11 Jun 08, 2:00 PM, Lots 147 - 335
EXHIBITION
Browse Catalogue
Fri, 6 Jun 08, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat, 7 Jun 08, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun, 8 Jun 08, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Mon, 9 Jun 08, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue, 10 Jun 08, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

 

Civility in the Rug World
I was reading an excerpt of a new book today I was struck by a passage about a well known author/dealer. It was not really untrue but it was definitely unkind. The man saying it was in no position to talk after some of what he has written. So my first reaction was to castigate the author of that book for his previous failures. But then I realized that even to mention his name would also be unkind. In what passes for rug scholarship we have a mixture of people who are important, rich, smart, cleaver and so on, but we have a steadily shrinking pool of gentlemen. Now you might ask who am I to speak of being a gentleman after all I am not a nice person by nature. Still even though those of us who are not kind by nature can aspire to be better men. So rather than castigate that offender I apologize to all those I have offended and I will review my own work to excise those unkind truths that really do not need to be said. Life is altogether to short to focus on bad rugs and mean people.



Paul Smith's Tekke Main Carpet on Turkotek
I am not suggesting that the Tekke Main Carpet is a Karapinar or even Avar but please compare the inner guard border of
Paul Smith's Tekke Main Carpet on Turkotek with the outer border of the Karapinar Long Rug Fragment from the Wolf Collection First half 17th century.
With the large population of Karaman Turkmen in the area of Karapinar could there be a link between the Turkmen and the Karapinar Tulip Carpets.
By the way in another Turkotek post someone referred to a kilim in Marshall Wolf's collection as "
a fairly normal Konya Kilim". Marshall and Marilyn Wolf have a truly great collection. In both its depth and breadth it is extraordinary. What might be fairly normal in their collection would be a museum piece to anyone else. There is nothing ordinary in that collection.


Copyright Barry O'Connell 2004 - 2007.
Last revised: August 07, 2008.


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