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Turkish antique - charmingly authentic or just old and worn out?
gubbeen Offline
#1 Posted : Wednesday, October 04, 2017 6:30:55 PM(UTC)
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Joined: 9/23/2017(UTC)
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Location: Calgary, AB
This 2.7m x 1.0m (8'10" x 3'3") rug was purchased in Goreme in 2003. At the time, we were told it was 70-80 yrs old. It has obviously seen real use.

The colour palette indicates conventional dyes. The colour and quality of the cotton varies several times throughout (see selvedge in photo). I get the sense that the workmanship is also variable--the second panel from the camera is less symmetrical, its curves less graceful and it even seems to be showing more wear (there's a noticeable transition between this panel it's neighbours). Apprenticeship in action?

Taken together, it seems to me to bear the marks of traditional, artisanal production and decades of utilitarian service. At least that's what made it stand out among the more refined (and intact) carpets on offer: it's an unpretentious 'rug's rug'.

I've spent a fair amount of time trying to find even a general regional/stylistic category to place it in, but I see very few examples of this repetitive bird-in-flight border and Mandelbrot-esque quatrefoil with relatively simple spandrel. Maybe these are so conventional and plentiful, they just don't warrant much attention or discussion?

If the flying bird motif typically represents 'good tidings', then the romantic in me finds it easy to imagine this being lovingly hand-crafted by a doting grandmother or lavishly commissioned by a proud father of modest means to mark an important and happy family occasion.

Or--human nature being more-or-less constant--more likely, it was hastily procured at the last minute from a local purveyor and with scant deliberation:
"Okay, then, how about a carpet from that place?"
"Oh, that's a great idea!"
"What should I get?"
"Hmm. I _think_ she likes red. Don't cheap out--get something nice, but not too ostentatious. Maybe just a runner. I've heard they might be struggling and...well, you know how Mehmet is. He'll take generosity the wrong way..."
"Yeah, good point. So, a redish runner, 3'x 8' or so, decent quality, but nothing flashy."
"Alright, back soon..."

Curious as to value (mostly to know how excited I should get over popsicle drips and wine spills).

gubbeen attached the following image(s):

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