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Turkmen Rugs: Guide to Saryk Turkmen Rugs & Carpets


Guide to Saryk Turkmen Rugs & Carpets

Phases of Saryk Rugs

The Saryk are one of the original 23 tribes of the Oghuz. In the early 19th century they defeated the Salor and for a short period of time were the preeminent Turkmen tribe until losing to the Tekke.

Saryk rugs fall into three phases:

  1. First phase has a soft clear orange red as the field color no silk or cotton pile Turkish knots and a soft apricot color in the Gul.
  2. Second Phase rugs often use silk and cotton in the pile, insect dyes and the main field red tends more to a blue or a brown red than the orange red of the first phase. Gul quadrants use a color more orange than the apricot of the First Phase rugs. Both Turkish and Persian knotting are seen in Second Phase.
  3. Third Phase: Colors are darker and brown and purple brown are seen as field colors. At worst there is garish overuse of insect dyed silk and cotton as white. Rugs use Turkish knots.

    I wrote this ages ago and now I am reconsidering. Not that I think I was wrong but rather that as I come to understand Saryk history I may be able to go a little deeper. I am thinking that First Phase is from the period before the ascension of the Tekke over the Saryk. Does this go back into the period when the Saryk were un the Salor Confederation? Possibly I see no reason why not but no compelling argument for this.

    Second Phase then would be from the ascension of the Akhal Tekke south of the KaraKum up to about the time when the Russians too the Murghab River region and the Merv Oasis.

    Third Phase would then stretch from the Russian period forward to today. I will refine this as I go along but I suspect that this is abut right.

Saryk Rugs First phase has a soft clear orange red as the field color no silk or cotton pile Turkish knots and a soft apricot color in the Gul. The Saryk are one of the original 23 tribes of the Oghuz. In the early 19th century they defeated the Salor and for a short period of time were the preeminent Turkmen tribe until losing to the Tekke. First phase has a soft clear orange red as the field color no silk or cotton pile Turkish knots and a soft apricot color in the Gul.

the Thompson Saryk Turret Gul Juval
The Thompson Saryk Turret Gul Juval
2. Second Phase rugs often use silk and cotton in the pile, insect dyes and the main field red tends more to a blue or a brown red than the orange red of the first phase. Gul quadrants use a color more orange than the apricot of the First Phase rugs. Both Turkish and Persian knotting are seen in Second Phase.

Saryk 3rd Phase Rug
Saryk 3rd Phase Rug
3. Third Phase: Colors are darker and brown and purple brown are seen as field colors. At worst there is garish overuse of insect dyed silk and cotton as white. Rugs use Turkish knots.

 

Thoughts on the decline of Saryk Weaving in the Third Phase

When the Tekke drove the Saryk out of the Merv Oasis the Saryk moved south under the protection of the Jamshidi who controlled the area north of Heart for the governor of Heart. The area was Choi north of Badghis between the Hari-rud and the Murghab River. Choi mean desert rut not sand desert, Choi was an area suitable for herding but not nearly as fertile as the land the Jamshidi lived on. This allowed the Saryk to flee “south of the border” so to speak and gave the additional safeguard of being under the protection of the government of Herat which was under the authority of the King of Kabul and his British allies. This was potent protection since the British came in and exerted their authority over Herat in 1855-56.

Moving to Choi was a drastic change for the Saryk. Besides Farming and herding the Saryk gained wealth by slaving and weaving. The Russians and the British effectively ended the slaving. Weaving dramatically decreased in importance but the nature of living in Choi. The Treaty of Paris 1856 which ended the Afghan-Persian War severely curtailed trade between Afghanistan and Persia. Without the Persian market and separated from the Central Asian markets by their enemy the Tekke, weaving for commerce declined drastically. Additionally without the rich farms of Merv and the income from slaving the Saryk were not in a position for extravagant weaving for personal use

From all this we see the decline of the Saryk Weaving from the earlier heights to the dark coarse rugs that I call the Third Phase.

Saryk Torba
Saryk Torba

Saryk Weaving:

Saryk Yolami Fragments

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and the Iran. Mostly Turkmenistan.

Size: Bags rugs and carpets.

Structure: 1st and 3rd phase Symmetrical knot.2nd phase may be Asymmetric open left. 100 to 250 KPSI. No depression to slight warp depression in older rugs and deeper depression increasing to deep der on very late rugs.

  • Knots Per Square Inch. Densities recorded were 108 (Lot 123), 112 (Grote-Hasenbalg, Plate 85, est.), 162 (Jones/Schürmann), 200-250 (Thacher but probably 125), 134 (Herrmann VI), 135 (Lot 133), and 144 (Franses). O'Bannon, The Saryq Main Carpet.

  • "Saryk weavings the vertical to horizontal (knot) ratio is 1:1.5-2.0" O'Bannon , A White Central Asian Asmalyk of a Rare Type

  • George O'Bannon wrote: "There are two implied assumptions which present problems in assessing these rugs. The first is: if they are Turkish knotted, they are Saryk. We know from past and current production that the Yomud Turkoman tribal groups used both the Turkish and Persian knots. The Saryk Turkomans in Afghanistan today weave rugs with both types of knots. They probably did so in the past." http://www.rugreview.com/82saryq.htm

Yarn & Pile: Z Spun wool

  • Cotton and Silk. The oldest rugs are believed to have neither. Silk and, occasionally, cotton are found in mid-century weavings. Their use increases dramatically late in the century and in early 20th century rugs. Neither are common in mid-20th century Saryq rugs from Afghanistan. O'Bannon, The Saryq Main Carpet.

Warp: Two ply wool

Weft: 2 shots gray, brown or ivory wefts (Black in late 3rd phase)

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Most often weft faced plain weave.

  • Also overhand knots with warp fringe. Mallett shows a pile mafrash with an expanded plainweave band of fine brown wool interlaced on 3 warp units. Mallett, Woven Structures 14: 1

Selvages: Attached Interlaced selvage with free floating warps. Mallett, Marla. Woven Structures 15: 40

Handle: Light - medium. later rugs get a progressively heavier handle as warp depression increases.

Two Rippon Boswell Saryk Yolami Fragment  

.


Turreted Guls:

 
 
Thompson Saryk Turret Gul Juval Turreted Gul pieces were originally attributed to the Salor but as Rug scholarship advanced it became obvious that turreted Gul were attributable to the Salor, the Saryk, and to the Tekke. It has been suggested that Saryk only started weaving them after they defeated the Salor but Turkmen Expert James Allen feels that while rare there are Turreted Gul Sariks in all three phases and that the Saryks have always woven that design.

Turret Gul

The Thompson Saryk Turret Gul Juval  

"Vambery mentions still later expeditions from Khiva to Merv ; one in about 1842, when Medemin, or Muhammad Amin, brother of the then reigning Khan, moved at the Lead of 15,000 horsemen, against the Sarik Turkmen; and six campaigns when the same chief, himself Khan, was opposed to the same enemy. The conqueror captured the citadel of Merv and the fort of Yalatun; but his triumph was of short duration; for no sooner had he returned to his capital than the Sariks rebelled, and put the men, garrison, and commandant to the sword. Then followed a new campaign." On Journeys Between Herat, and Khiva by Goldsmid Page 13

Mr. Taylour Thomson writes with regard to Merv, from a visit paid in 1842. This gentleman was then on his way to Khiva from Tehran, via Mashhad, Sarakhs, and the Oxus. He found the city, known to modern times as Merv Shah Jahan, and, to Persia especially, as one of the four great cities of Khorasan (Herat, Mashhad, and Nishapur being the other three), "an assemblage of " wretched huts, commanded by a small mud fort, in which a Governor " of the Khan of Khiva resides, and defended by a few patereros and " swivel matchlocks." It had nothing to boast of but a small bazaar to supply the Sarik and Salor tribes who frequented it. On Journeys Between Herat, and Khiva by Goldsmid Page 14

Saryk Rugs & Carpets:

Thompson Saryk Juval Lot 25
The Thompson Saryk Juval Lot 25



Interesting Books On Turkmen Rugs:



Articles that you may be interested in:

Saryk Torba
Saryk Torba

Selections from the Thompson Oriental Carpet Sale

SHRINE PILGRIMAGE IN TURKMENISTAN by David Tyson


Turkmen Books:

This list is not meant to be comprehensive but rather it is to to give you an idea of what has been published.

Andrews, Mugal and Peter: Turkmen Needlework, Dressmaking and Embroidery Among the Turkmen of Iran ; London: 1976.

Arsh, Z.: Turkmans of Iran ; Iran: 1991. Text in Farsi-English.

Elmby, Hans: Antique Turkmen Carpets IV ; Copenhagen: 1998.

Andrews, Peter et al.: Wie Blumen in Der Wuste ; Hamburg: 1993.

Arsh, Z.: Turkmans of Iran ; Iran: 1991.

Azadi, Siawosch: Turkoman Carpets and the Ethnographic Significance of their Ornaments. ; Fishguard, UK: 1975.

Azadi, Siawosch: Turkmenische Teppiche ; Hamburg: 1970.

Barthold, V.V.: Four Studies on the History of Central Asia ; Leiden: 1962

Bedaghi, Zabihollah: Niazjan and Turkman Rugs ; Tehran: 1990. Farsi text

Beresneva, L: The Decorative and Applied Art of Turkmenia ; Leningrad: 1976.

Brown, D. and I. Gillan: An Exhibition of Our Collection of Turkoman Rugs ; Vancouver: 1976.

Clark, Hartley: Bokhara, Turkoman and Afghan ; London: 1922.

Elmby, Hans: Antique Turkmen Carpets ; Copenhagen: 1990.

Elmby, Hans: Antique Turkmen Carpets II ; Copenhagen: 1994. Danish and English text.

Elmby, Hans: Antique Turkmen Carpets III ; Copenhagen: 1996.

Elmby, Hans: Antique Turkmen Carpets IV ; Copenhagen: 1998.

Gombos, Karoly: Alte Zentralasiatische Teppich-Regi Kozepazsiai Szonyegek (Central Asian Rugs) ; Budapest: 1979.German/Hungarian text.

Gombos, Karoly: Turkmenian Rugs ; Budapest: 1984. Hungarian-English.,

Gombos, Karoly: Regi Turkmen Szonyegek (Turkoman Rugs) ; Budapest: 1975. English/Russian text.,

Hassouri, Ali: Turkman and Neighbouring Tribes' Carpet Patterns ; Tehran: 1992.

Hoffmeister, Peter: Turkoman Carpets in Franconia ; Edinburgh: 1980.

Jourdan, Uwe.: Oriental Rugs Vol. 5 Turkoman ; Augsberg: 1988.

King, D. et al.: Turkoman Rugs in the Victoria and Albert Museum ; London: 1980.

Loges, Werner: Turkoman Tribal Rugs ; Munich: 1980.

Mackie, Louise W. and Dr. Jon Thompson: Turkman Tribal Carpets and Traditions ; Washington: 1980.

McMullan, Joseph V. and Donald O. Reichert: The G.W.V. and B.T. Smith Collection of Islamic Rugs at the Smith Art Museum ; Springfield, Ma: 1970.

Melzhitova, El'mira: Turkmen Folk Art ; Ashkabad: 1990. Ashkabad Museum collection catalog of rugs, felts, embroideries and jewelry. Russian text.

Melzhitova, El'mira: Turkmen Folk Art ; Ashkabad: 1990.

Michaud, Roland and Sabrina: Caravans to Tartary ; NY: 1978.

Moshkova, V.G. edited by George W. O'Bannon: Carpets of the People of Central Asia ; Tucson: 1996.

Murav'yov, Nikolay: Journey to Khiva through the Turkoman Country ; London: 1977.

Pinner, Robert and Murray L. Eiland Jr.: Between the Black Desert and the Red, Turkmen Carpets from the Wiedersperg Collection ; San Francisco: 1999.

Pinner, R. and M. Franses ed.: Turkoman Studies I ; London: 1980.

Rueben, David: Gols and Guls, Turkmen Carpets from the 18th and 19th Centuries ; London: 1998.

Sotheby's: "Turkmen and Antique Carpets from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Jon Thompson" ; NY: 1993

Pinner, Robert and Murray L. Eiland Jr.: Between the Black Desert and the Red, Turkmen Carpets from the Wiedersperg Collection ; San Francisco: 1999.

Reed, Christopher: Turkoman Rugs ; Cambridge, Ma: 1966.

Rueben, David: Gols and Guls, Turkmen Carpets from the 18th and 19th Centuries ; London: 1998.

Schletzer D. & R.: Old Silver Jewellery of the Turkoman ; Berlin: 1984.

Thacher, Amos: Turkoman Rugs ; London: 1940.

Wilfling, Hans: Teppiche-Motive der Turkvolker (Rugs and Patterns of Turkic People) ; Wien: 1985.


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