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3/10/2007 Nice article on one of our Trusted Dealers:

P-I features Thea Sands and Emmanuel's Rug & Upholstery Cleaners of Seattle

see also:

Boycott "300"
 
Iran’s Carpet Museum Faces Storage Crisis
 
Madadpour Attacks Iranian Carpet Export Association in Press
 
FINE ESTATES AUCTION At Foster’s Auction Gallery
 
Iran : Persian carpet production shrinks in March
 
Ball chairwoman Melissa Keshishian raises $500,000 For the Corcoran
 
AfghanMark enables rug buyers to help Afghan women
 
Rugman.com's donations aid in the ongoing recovery effort put forth by the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.
 
Germany, U.S. buy 50% of Persian rugs
Best wishes,
Barry

What do people in England really Want?

Here are the top nine Google searches that people in England used to get to my rug notes here on SpongoBongo so far this month Feb. 8 2007
1. ulrich schurmann caucasian rugs 2. ersari 3. qashqai rug 4. bijar rugs 5. iranian calander 6. lori rug 7. a to z of persian rugs 8. turkoman carpet 9. luri dialect map

Best wishes, - Barry

New Pages on Persian Gabbeh rugs

I added a few new pages on Persian Gabbeh rugs. I intend to make a much more comprehensive Guide To Gabbeh Rugs.
Please visit:
Gabbeh Rugs Red Qashqai Rug from Sobco
Gabbeh Rugs: Handmade Gabbeh From Zollanvari
Gabbeh Rugs: Amalehbaft Gabbeh Rug
Gabbeh Rugs: Regular Gabbeh Rug From Gabbeh.com
Gabbeh Rugs: Kashkoli Gabbeh Rug From Gabbeh.com
Best wishes,
Barry

2/27/2007

Rippon Boswell Wiesbaden has major rug sales but it also as minor sales as well. Some of these can be very interesting as well. Auction 680 will be held March 10, 2007. I spotted a few pieces that I found interesting. Here are a few I added to the Rug Notes:

Baluch Rugs: Baluch Bagface early 20th C Rippon Boswell Lot 18
Baluch Rugs: Baluch Balisht 1st Quarter 20th C Rippon Boswell Lot 18
Baluch Rugs: Baluch Rug C 1900 Rippon Boswell Lot 64
Birjand Rugs: Birjand Carpet Circa 1920 Rippon Boswell Lot 30
Tabriz Rugs: Tabriz Carpet circa 1920 Rippon Boswell Lot 25
Tabriz Rugs: Tabriz Carpet circa 1930/40 Rippon Boswell Lot 159

Best wishes,

Barry

2/25/2007

Sometimes the easiest way to fix something is to start over. My main guide to Persian Rugs is a mess so I started a new page and I am cleaning up the old information as the beginning of rewriting it. The first part can be seen at:
Persian Rugs the O'Connell Guide
Best wishes,
Barry

2/23/2007

I added some more pages. I also added in a Blog to keep track of changes to my sites. I keep trying to improve this site and some things work and some things do not. we will see how the blog works out. Readership has shown steady increases in the last 6 months so someone reads this stuff.
Oriental Rugs: Update to Guide to Tabriz Rugs & Carpets
Oriental Rugs: I added a few more pages to the Heriz Rugs guide
Best wishes,
Barry

2/18/2007

Jim Allen has posted an exceptional Shulaver Kazak on eBay.

Rare Antique Schulaver Kazak Caucasian Rug from a-bey

Barry

Rare Antique Schulaver Kazak Caucasian Rug from a-bey

2/18/2007

I mentioned the help I get from John Wertime yesterday and I should mention a few others. Ed Krayer has been gathering the images of the backs of rugs which has been a real help. It is easy to get good images of the fronts of rugs but close-ups are harder to get. Another friend who has been a big help over the years is Jim Allen. Just today he shared these images: Teke/Tekke 180 KPSI single wefted Tekke khalyk from Jim Allen. I will try to mention more of the people who have helped me build this site.

Barry

2/17/2007

I edited the Notes on Shah Abbas and then I added a page on Shah Tahmasp Safavi. It also mentions the The Perez Topkapi Prayer Rug. This is one of many rugs pages that I have written then lost. I am never sure how I do it but I have found at least a dozen pages that were not linked in anywhere. Yesterday I edited over 1,000 pages and whenever I do that if brings out things that I missed.

I got a thank you this week from John Wertime. God bless him, John is a real gentleman and I really appreciate the way he shares what he has and what he knows. John's note combined with The Perez Topkapi Prayer Rug made me think of another dealer in London. Some dealers are not like John they hide what they know and never share even as much as a picture from their inventory. So I decided to do two things; publicly acknowledge John Wertime as a great guy and the other thing is to edit my list of recommended London dealers.

Here is a page on new Afghan rug production that takes an interesting twist. Silk Rugs in a Kabul Workshop 2007

Barry

2/13/2007

Today was a grand day, a glorious day. I woke up feeling great and got to work early. I knocked off all my work with ease and took on some new tasks. After work I started a guide to Chinese art. A massive task but I decided to start with Blue and White Porcelain from the Yuan Dynasty. I added in some Ming pieces and a cinnabar lacquer dish since they intrigued me. Yuan porcelain intrigues me because it shows up in Persian miniatures and that influences Persian Carpets even to this day. It is barely started but you can see the new section at: Chinese Art. I would be further along but I had snow to shovel

Barry

2/12/2007

In my notes we deal with collectable rugs, tribal rugs, rugs of ethnographic significance and many others but there is something about great Persian Carpets on the floor. Persian Carpets are a great love of mine. I enjoy a wide range of oriental rugs but my heart is always lead back to the great Persian Carpets of Iran. Is saying Iran when I say Persian Carpets Redundant? Maybe but we need to remind people that if it was not made in Iran it is not a Persian Carpet. If I had to pick my favorite Persian Carpets I tend to go with the big six Isfahan Carpets, Kashan Carpets, Kerman Carpets, Sarouk Carpets, Tabriz Carpets, and Heriz Carpets.

By the way did you ever try Google images for SpongoBongo?

We also deal with the cultures of the Middle East and Southwest Asia this is from a note that a friend send me:

The Iranian American Parents Association Celebrates NowRuz 1386!
Sunday March 11, 2007 - 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Beverly Hilton,
International Ballroom
9876 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Ticket Information: 310.880.3362
http://www.iapabh.org/

Barry

2/2/7

Hello,

I spotted a nice new article on classic carpets: A Turkotek Digital Field Trip: The Victoria and Albert Museum by Chuck Wagner. It looks well worth reading.

Hello,

I just posted a brand new Kelardasht Rugs / Kalardasht Rugs Guide. I added in some images of Mazanderan province. The further I get into this project the more I feel it is important to show more than just rugs. We need to see the rugs as a product of the people. I just remember that I have to revise the guide. Kelardasht is in a small enclave of Northern Kurds. The rest of the province is Mazandarani which is an Indo-European people close to Baluch or Talysh. I have to remember to add the language in, after all weaving is non-verbal language..

Barry

Rare Shahsavan Band in the John Wertime Collection

I attended the Wendel Swan lecture on Shahsavan Pile Rugs last Saturday night (1/27/07) and had a chance to visit with John Wertime the next morning.Of all of the experts on Oriental rugs and tribal weaving one of my very favorites is John Wertime. John is a serious scholar who studied under the late Professor Martin Bernard Dickson at Princeton and then followed that up with an extended stay in Iran. John is also a prolific writer, author and translator.

I took images of a number of his pieces and I will be posting tem as I get time. The first is:

Rare Shahsavan Band in the John Wertime Collection

Asiatic cheetahs in Mughal Art

Asiatic cheetahs in Mughal Art

Asiatic Cheetahs in Mughal Art

These rug notes are a many year battle to try to put Oriental rugs into some sort of context that allows me to understand them. I am not all that bright and lack much of an education but by carefully fitting together little pieces I can understand a little. Recently I spotted some pictures of Asiatic Cheetahs in Iran Daily. Since I knew that Asiatic Cheetahs appear in some rugs I thought it would be interesting to put some images together. I wanted to add in an article by Jim Allen on Cheetahs in Turkmen rugs but it is not ready yet.

Newly Updated Guide to Bakhtiari Rugs and Carpets Nice image of the Stone Lions

Newly Updated Guide to Kerman Rugs

New notes on Persian Rugs and Turkish Rugs Suzani on Squidoo, Oriental Rugs on Squidoo, Persian Carpets on Squidoo, Baluch Rugs on Squidoo, The Qashqai and Qashqai Rugs on Squidoo, Veramin Rugs on Squidoo, and Tribal Rugs on Squidoo.

Best wishes for the Holiday Season and Happy Christmas

I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday season. Our Christmas Celebration is in full swing here at the O'Connell House. Jodi just finished wrapping the last of the presents and we were able to get the boys what they wanted. Monty is 4 Mickey is 8 and Max is 11, and they did not really ask for much this year so it was fairly simple. Church was odd tonight. In a Christian church one expects Jesus in the sermon. We went to my Mother-in-law's church and the poor pastor talks about everything but Jesus. We moved up to Williamsport Pa. this year and finding a good church has been a major problem. By the way I always wonder how to handle Christmas greetings when I know many, maybe even most of you, are not believers. This year I noticed that I got as many Christmas greetings from my Moslem friends as I did from Christian friends so I am just going to be me and hope I do not offend too many of you.

Work is going well, I am taking a break from IT and am doing an Internet startup for a national ad agency. It is drawing on a great deal of experience I developed over the years so I find it fun. Ideas that grew out of when I ran the database team for the Dems in the last presidential race are now coming to fruition. In the 13 battle ground states we targeted voters down to the precinct level. Now I am focusing on new ways to target market down to the zip code level and into the neighborhood level for our clients at a cost effective basis. One of our efforts is www.TenPenny.com the site is live and we are launching in Arizona in January.

Merry Christmas!

Barry O'Connell

November 30, 2006

Christmas, Cancer and Caring, A time for Joy?

About three months ago I met a young man who shares some interests with me. Jerry Frear was an account executive at the Advertising company where I now work. Jerry handles the interactive media and also magazines for two of our international clients. Like me Jerry is a Christian and we are also both fans of marketing guru Seth Godin. In fact I spotted Jerry the first time because he had a Purple Cow in his cube.

Anyway I hijacked Jerry and pulled him onto my team. That did not last long since management grabbed Jerry and made him a Vice President in one of our new companies. Jerry also has an active ministry in the inner city making Christmas a little merrier for disadvantaged youth and the homeless. Jerry organizes a yearly effort to get gift boxes into the hands of the needy. This year things are taking off as Jerry's gift box concept is spreading to other cities.

With his beautiful wife and two great teenage children, two promotions (and a raise) and Christmas weeks away Jerry should be on top of the world, right? Well this week Jerry tested positive for cancer. Treatment starts next week and I can see Jerry is worried. But instead of slowing down Jerry is working twice as hard to make sure that as many disadvantaged youth and the homeless people are cared for. If you are a believer keep Jerry in your prayers. Jerry is also a blogger and you can read him at http://becomingmissional.blogspot.com/

November 27, 2006

Where Are the Turkmen salt bags?

Robert Upfold of Australia posted a good question on www.Turkotek.com

"Yomud Salt bags
Why is there no literature mentioning these? Did they, seemingly unusually, not make any?"

Dr. Steve Price the moderator of the group answered:

"Hi Robert
I don't think I've ever seen or heard of a Turkmen bag that was the shape of the Northwest Persian/Caucasian salt bags. My guess is that they kept salt in bags of some other shape, and that we call such bags by some other name.
Do you know of any "salt bag shaped" bags by any Turkmen group?
Regards
Steve Price"

Now no disrespect meant to Steve Price but I think I see the problem in that whole thread. The so-called sat bags are for rock salt for sheep. They are not bags for salt for human consumption. Why would a shepherd need to carry a multi-year supply of salt for his own consumption? How then is the salt used? Shepherds who follow a transhumance style grazing pattern often need to hit the high meadows above the available springs. A shepherd will "salt" a flock by giving them chunks of rock salt to lick and then they drink more and retain water. With the retained water the sheep can go higher uphill for longer before they need to be watered again. This way they can get more grass and be more profitable to the flock owner.

There is a United Nations document that makes note of similar usage in Chinese Occupied Turkestan. See Transhumant grazing systems in temperate Asia... http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/Y4856E/y4856e0b.htm

Why no Yomut saltbags? Simple enough really, salt bags are used where needed and not carried by shepherds with no need to salt a flock. The salinity of the soil and forage and the lack of high meadows without water means that the Turkmen had little use for them. I hope I do not get any kooky emails from John Howe about this note. He feels that mentioning Turkotek at all is ridiculing them which is certainly not my purpose here.
Best wishes,
Barry

November 25, 2006

Hello,
I attended an interesting breakfast today. The subject was what can and should the Islamic Republic of Iran do to further the Persian rug trade and help the weavers of Iran. Over the next few weeks we will pull those ideas together and see what we have. It was an odd mix for rug discussion. No one was in the rug business or from a rug producing country. In fact it was American Christian advertising and marketing executives who are concerned with the welfare of the Iranian weavers. With the new Congress in the US there is little chance of war between the US and Iran so the door is now open to improve a soft market and help the weavers.
The other night I got a voice mail from one of the United States top collectable rug dealers. He said he read my note on Sotheby's Fall sale and he said I have to see Skinner's Fall Rug Sale. He said between the two sales it is an incredible display of really good rugs. Rarely he tells me would you see nearly 700 rugs of this quality go to auction at one time. He speculated that the soft market conditions were flushing out top rugs from inventories. Maybe dealers of antique and collectable rugs are feeling the pinch but what about Christie's. They have a small fall sale, maybe they fell asleep at the wheel.
Maybe I fell asleep when I should have been working I just found an email with rug pictures from 2005. Take a look at some fascinating rugs in Daliri Shaped Rugs From Iran
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

November 22, 2006

Sotheby's Fall Carpet Sale and the Vojtech Blau Sale and Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello,
Today I got my catalogs for the Sotheby's Fall Carpet Sale and the Vojtech Blau Sale in New York December 14th. It is one of the most exciting sales in ages. I am still pouring over both catalogs but here are a few initial thoughts:
Turkmen lovers will enjoy lots 188 - 191 these are the 4 pieces that George Washington O'Bannon picked to illustrate A Conversation With E.B. Long.
Lots 144, 145, and 146 are Sogdian Samite fragments from George Hecksher's collection. All three lots are 7th - 8th century roundels that Hecksher got from Arthur Leeper. People who wonder where Turkmen designs come from will no doubt be interested in these.
I piece that drew my eye was a wonderful BOHÇA. The color is something special. Lot 141 An Ottoman Embroidered Wrapping cloth (BOHÇA), Ottoman empire, Circa 1700.
Lot 321 stands out as a very special Qashqai carpet. Rarely do I see one like this at 15 feet long with the quality apparent in the image I suspect it was a presentation piece.
Lot 268 actually made me feel a bit stupid, it is a very good example of the work of Abul-Ghasem Kashani the Kirman master. But when I went to check the entry for Abul-Ghasem Kashani in my rug notes I had nothing. Kashani has a significant body of good rugs to his credit and I will build an entry for him. His name stands out for me because it is so close to that of Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani. For those of you who forgot Ayatollah Kashani he was the rascal that Don Wilber dug up and bribed to help overthrow the Mosadegh Government of Iran in the CIA plot of 1953. I doubt that the two are related.
I will write more soon. By the way I am planning to be at the Auction preview Sunday Dec 10th.
Fall Carpets Event Details and Browse Catalogue. Vojtech Blau Sale Event Details and Browse Catalogue.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

November 20, 2006

Hello,

I just revised the Guide to Chinese Rugs: and Chinese Rug expert Kim Esber was kind enough to help me on Nichols Chinese Rugs. As we were talking Kim mentioned Sam Hakim and we realized that somehow Sam had been left off the Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of New York. I called Harold Keshishian and he told me that Sam is a highly respected rug dealer and was a great friend to Uncle Jimmy Keshishian. So I added him in to the list.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

November 16, 2006

Hello,
Persian rugs are an expression of the Persian culture but I think if we ignore the rest of Persian culture we lose. There is a period of Persian painting that art historians call the "Evil Years". It basically is the period after Shah Tahmasp turned away from miniature painting until the end of his reign. The best of the genre is 1555 to 1565. Take a moment and take a look at "Majnum Comes Before Layla Disguised As A Sheep" from the Haft Awrang of Jami made for Soltan Ibrahim Mirza, 1556 to 1565.

Pay special attention to the margins. In many ways carpets are closer to the margins then they are the miniatures. By the way I attribute "Majnum Comes Before Layla Disguised As A Sheep" to Ali Ashgar. I am not sure if anyone else agrees but I feel pretty comfortable in that attribution. In fact I also attribute Yusuf Gives a Royal Banquet. c. 1560 to Ali Ashgar. Most other people attribute the work to Shaykh Mahammad. Take a look at the face in The Poem by Shaykh Muhammad then look at the two I attribute to Ali Ashgar. Not the same hand at all.

The young lady to the right is wearing a beautiful shalvar. I wrote about The Shalvar or Persian Pantallon after one of Harold Keshishian lectures.

I better get to bed now it is after 11 PM and I am incredibly depressed. Maybe with 5 hours of sleep I won't feel so bad tomorrow. This is one of the days I really regret taking a job in Central Pennsylvania.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

November 12, 2006

Hello,

One of the greatest rug experts alive today is Harold Keshishian. I just found out that he is back on his feet after very serious surgery. To try to explain Harold in mere words is almost impossible. So instead I offer a series of pages I did on one of Harold's many presentation at the Textile Museum. Keep in mind this shows only a tiny portion of his collection and an even smaller portion of his knowledge. For those of you who are believers join me in a prayer for Harold. Personably I will be praying for his health and also a prayer of thanksgiving that God has given me Harold Keshishian as my friend and my teacher.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

Harold Keshishian's "Rug Morning"

November 10, 2006

Hello

This has been an exhausting Fall season for me. I am settled in rural Pennsylvania with my family and work is good. After consulting for 13 years it is good to settle down as CIO of a nice size company. Just for the fun of it I dabbled in Pa. politics and ended up on local TV 222 times. We had some wins and a loss but all in all it was a good season. Most importantly we got Bob Casey as our senator. Casey's dad was Governor Bob Casey who was a classmate and neighbor of my father. I went to school with one of the senator's older sisters. They are nice people who in the close to 70 years that we have known them have been honest decent hardworking people.

The reorganization of the Rug Notes is going well. I keep finding long lost pages and I have been working to inter-link them with the existing pages. Content is great but if it is not easily accessible then it does little good. In the mean time I have stopped getting weird, bizarre, taunting emails from John Howe. Why some people feel compelled to start a fuss is completely beyond me. John was upset because I had a kind word for a woman who is a regular poster on Turkotek that John felt was beneath his exalted delusions of the Turkotek crew. Most of them are really nice people with good knowledge but John seems to feel he can judge who is worthy and who is not. It is one thing to disagree with someone but why attack them categorizing them as "clearly a troubled soul". I suppose the best thing to do is pray for poor John. In the mean time judge each of us here or on www.Turkotek.com on the merit of their contribution rather than participating in high school style cliques. Disagreeing with John Howe does not automatically mean someone is mentally unstable in fact agreeing too often with John might mean quite the opposite.

If you are interested in Persian Rugs visit Ali Amiri's www.RugArt.org. Most of it is in Farsi but I always enjoy the English section.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

October 23, 2006.

Yayla Tribal Rugs and Child Labor:

Child Labor is not an issue in Persian Rugs or most other rug producing countries. However India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan still have a problem. Take a look at how one well known American company uses children. Notes on Chris Walters
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

October 21, 2006.

Hello,

Another week goes by and I keep plugging away on this site. I have been fixing links and finding lost pages. Things got interrupted by surgery on Friday. Nothing serious but it cuts into my time. Time is the enemy. I took on a political campaign and developed a new marketing tool for our biggest clients. Life is going at frantic pace and this site gives me a refuge from day to day stress.
Best wishes,
Barry

October 13, 2006.

Hello,
I rewrote the Guide to Turkish Rugs last night and then lost it so I stated over. It still needs a lot of work but it is a start. One of the sections I want to address soon is the one on Kurdish rugs. I have been amazed by the internet ramblings of a bedroom rug dealer named Michael Wendorf. He seems to feel that not all Kurdish rugs are Kurdish and that rugs woven by Kurds may not be Kurdish. I do not want to mischaracterize his argument but it always sounds o me to basically say that Michael likes Kurdish rugs so only those rugs he likes can be Kurdish. You can read some of Michael's musings on www.Turkotek.com. He comes across more like a lawyer pretexting a position into someone else's' theory. Some of my pages on Kurdish rugs include: Bijar Rugs - Bijar Rugs - Kurdish Rugs and Carpets - Kurdish Weaving - Koliai/Sonqur Rugs - Kolyai/Sonqur Rugs - Sanandaj Rugs - Senneh Rugs - Mahabad Rugs. I think my comment on the Wendorf theory is simply put that rugs woven by Kurds are Kurdish rugs.
Thanks and best wishes,
Barry

October 12, 2006.

Hello friends and readers,
www.SpongoBongo.com and www.PersianCarpetGuide.com are hobbies of mine. I write about rugs because it makes me happy. Over the last few years I have tried an experiment with the site and it went terribly wrong. The quality of this site has decreased and I have decided to fix it to my satisfaction. So for now I will be doing a drastic rewrite of the pages and the links. Persian Rugs will continue to be a special focus of mine but I will try to expand a whole host of areas. One major project is to replace the hundreds or thousands of missing pages. I discovered many pages that had been lost due to human error so I am adding them back in.

So for now I beg your patience. I am not in the rug business and this is a little something I do after the children go to bed. Recently I went through a major shift in my life. I moved from the Washington DC Area to a small town to take over as CIO of a national advertising company. It is a stretch to go from from computer consulting to a management role. But it is nice to see bear, turkey, deer, and hawks from the office windows.

A small note about navigation around the sites. www.SpongoBongo.com has far more pages and www.PersianCarpetGuide.com has more guides. I have links to both and the two sites link back and forth extensively. In some cases I have multiple guides to the same subject. I stated this over 10 years ago and different versions can address different aspects. I discover now and then that I am wrong about something. I think one of the strengths of this project is that I edit and revise as I learn.
Thanks and best wishes,
J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

Copyright Barry O'Connell 2004 - 2006.
Last revised: November 13, 2008.

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Persian Rugs the O'Connell Guides

Tabriz Rugs

Kashmar Rugs

Isfahan Rugs

Hamadan Rugs

Mashad Rugs

Gabbeh Rugs

Heriz Rugs

Ardabil Rugs

Lylyan Rugs

Turkmen Rugs

Persian Rugs

Turkish Rugs

Suzani

Oriental Rugs

Persian Carpets

Baluch Rugs,

The Qashqai and Qashqai Rugs

Veramin Rugs

Tribal Rugs

Khotan-Rugs

Khotan-Carpets

Kirman-Rugs

Kirman-Carpets

Antique-Rugs

Antique-Carpets

Shahsevan-Rugs

Oushak-Rugs

Mashad-Rugs

Gabbeh-Rugs

Kurdish-Rugs

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