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Reading about Rugs
netjim Offline
#1 Posted : Sunday, February 22, 2009 5:34:51 AM(UTC)
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Following are 5 books about rugs that I own and have enjoyed. I have a couple dozen to talk about but invite you to tell us about rug books that You have and enjoy.


The Illustrated Buyer’s Guide to:
Oriental Carpets

By J.R. Azizollanhoff
Revised 2nd Edition, 2002

Hundreds and hundreds of rugs shown, described and priced.
I admit a certain bias. This book was among my first 5 or 6 on the subject. I was thoroughly impressed then and remain so several years later, having used it as reference numerous times.
There are quite a few reader reviews posted on Amazon.com
The few that were mostly critical seem to be from people who just wanted e-bay rugs, etc. verified, not to learn about rugs.


Oriental Carpet Design: A Guide to Traditional Motifs, Patterns and Symbols (Paperback)by P. R. J. Ford (Author)
As of this morning there were 11 customer reviews at Amazon, starting with referring to this book as the bible of rug design. There are 800 illustrations with 400 being in color.
This book is often considered the definitive work on patterns and motifs.
The reviews.


Starting to Collect Antique Oriental Rugs
(Hardcover)
by Murray Eiland III (Author)
This 2003 book has numerous black & white drawings complimenting the 150 color plates. Most of these rugs are published here for the first time, with chapters covering each of the major producing countries.


Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route: Culture Process & Selection
(Hardcover)
by John B. Gregorian

Here is one of the Amazon reviews:
Quote:
Finally, a niche book with character that focuses on the highest quality carpets. Beyond the pictures it chronicles the Gregorian family experience with this genre and brings us back to the days when the original treasures were more readily available - not that long ago! A must for the serious collector or the simple enthusiast.




The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery and Lore of the Persian Carpet
(Paperback)
by Brian Murphy

This book won’t teach you about rug patterns. You won’t learn weaving technique here. And, although you may know that the root of the Madder plant is used to make red dye, you won’t learn to dye. But I found the story fascinating as the author traveled the Middle East in search of this sometimes-mysterious plant. As he observed, “Every carpet carries its own distinctive voice. Suddenly I wanted to hear them.”


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RugPro Offline
#2 Posted : Monday, February 23, 2009 8:40:13 PM(UTC)
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Location: New York
Excellent compilation. I don't know how to add to this. Maybe each should have it's own thread? There are many I have to add, but they may have to wait for another day. I love all rug books.

The Illustrated Buyer’s Guide to:
Oriental Carpets
By J.R. Azizollanhoff
Revised 2nd Edition, 2002


My feeling on this one is mixed. I can see how some may find the price guide to be somewhat of a disappointment to first time rug people who may have high expectations for straight forward current values. Some of the best price guides are current Sotheby's and Christies catalogs with actual sold prices. Generally, photographs are excellent, detailed descriptions are lacking, but basic fundamental information is present. That's important.

It was VERY interesting to see an image of this rug show up in the book, valued at 20,000 in the 1984 condition.

I would buy this book again for:

A friend who wants to find their rug taste
Brief synopsis of rug and carpet design/origin and loose retail prices
Great easy to read information on evaluation of a rug and understanding basic condition information: white knots, repairing, etc.
Excellent for new hot rugs in today's market: antique serapi (spelled serape in the book), mahal, gabbeh, needlepoints, Indian, etc.
An excellent introductory tool for someone ready to buy


I would not buy this book for:
Silk rugs both new/old
Highly commercialized rugs/inferior quality goods.
A detailed account of "Kelly Blue Book" type values for almost every rug imaginable




Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route: Culture Process & Selection
(Hardcover)
by John B. Gregorian


I liked this book, but not for much more than as a coffee table resource. I found it to be a slightly self-promoting, and I hated the double spacing. Some plates did not have descriptions.

Not sure I would buy this book again if I had to, but don't regret the original purchase. Actual information about specific rugs/carpets was not elaborated to the extent expected. I like technical info. It was a surface read about rugs and history, mainly to reinforce the appreciation for rugs, and some info on purchasing overseas. I would say this book is a starting point for those who may or may not be convinced whether they like rugs.


Oriental Carpet Design: A Guide to Traditional Motifs, Patterns and Symbols (Paperback)by P. R. J. Ford (Author)
As of this morning there were 11 customer reviews at Amazon, starting with referring to this book as the bible of rug design. There are 800 illustrations with 400 being in color.


Very pleased. I don't like the knots per square cm deal, but if I lost this book, I would like to purchase it again without question. Very good information in here, always stumble on something worthwhile every time I open it. There were a few things my experience did not align with with, but all in all, there's not much out there to top this when it comes to massive information on rugs that fits in two hands. Great reference, some scattered info, but I don't think this is avoidable.

netjim Offline
#3 Posted : Thursday, February 26, 2009 4:04:17 AM(UTC)
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Applause Applause Applause Applause

I guess the difference here is that I have only about ten years experience and much of that did not include
anything handknotted so I can (obviously) glean much more from some of these books. Drool

And I also think that, at such a point in the "learning curve" some of the books that teach something
of the culture and even history of rug weaving regions can also be rewarding. (Well, it certainly has been for me.)
That's a lot of the enjoyment of reading such as the Return to Tradition , The Root of Wild Madder
and Salmiya blog , etc. Angel

netjim Offline
#4 Posted : Thursday, June 04, 2009 2:08:38 PM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Dealers, Member

Joined: 4/19/2008(UTC)
Posts: 173
Points: 528
Location: Florida

A neat and easy way to catalog your books - up to 200 of them with a free account
and many more with a paid account.

Here are 20 of mine.

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/netjim
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