Even though it was the better of the shows, calling the acor/Boston collector exhibition “Gems of New England Collections” struck us as hype, as very few of the examples were truly “gems” in real time on any international scale.
There were some but most of the examples were pieces we’d call good but not great.
Ones able to impress us were few and far between though, that said, we don’t think this acor was appreciably less well endowed with “gems” than any of the others.
We have already written quite a bit about the event and are going to close our coverage soon but, before we do, here are a few pieces we’d agree with hanging the gem tag on.
The first is this way cool and quite early Turkish village rug:
We like everything about it and would be surprised to find anyone who didn’t. This is a charming late 18th/early 19th century rug, whose main field pattern is a provincial version of much earlier Ottoman Court rugs and textiles.
Known as saz leaf, this design was also part of the design vocabulary employed in Persia by the weavers working for the Safavid Court. Ideas of whether or it it originated there , or in Turkey, are still unproven and we’d lean towards Persia rather than Turkey if asked.
By the way, we were fairly surprised this rug was not called a yastic since that label has been applied to almost every Turkish pile rug possible.
Here the small size, about 3 foot square if our memory serves us well, and elem panels imply to us it might well have been a yastic.
Regardless a rose is still a rose by any other name and this one is a beauty, according to us.
Congratulations to its lucky owner.
Frankly, there were no other Turkish rugs that turned our heads, except the already well-published yastic belonging to Laurence Kearney.
It, too, is a “gem” and we did not illustrate it as it is already very well known, and rightly so.
We will now close this installment with three Turkmen pieces – right, we saved the best for last.
The first of these is this fragment:
RK has never fallen for the part of rug lore that believes these turreted gol are early and actually we believe them to be a late addition to the S group design book.
However, this one appears to break that mold and makes a case for at least a late 18th century origin. Also the secondary gols, done with what is known as the holbein style, while rarely seen and believed to be “early” are equally as questionable as the major gol in that regard. At least as far as we can tell.
Having written in the past about the Salor/S group corundum, do not expect us to revisit it, although we will tangentaly refer to it.
The wall label for this piece stated it was a “Saryk”, a statement which we believe is incorrect.
We had the chance to examine it carefully and found both asymmetric open left and right knots, as well as some symmetric ones as well.
This is highly unusual-- three different knots in one piece -- and while that might appear to complicate the provenance, in reality it doesn’t.
Why? Well basically the dyeing and wool quality are all typical for S group work and, rather than Saryk, we’d opt for an S group identification.
Also the wall label referred to it as a chuval fragment, whereas the piece was surely a torba, as there is enough of the border system remaining to guarantee our position on that as well.
This piece kinda, almost, made us like the turreted gol but, in the end, we still believe it is a later invention and not an archaic feature.
The next piece we chose is this chuval:
Frankly, we don’t know who made it, as it has Tekke, Kizil Ayak and Saryk features.
We’d probably choose Saryk on account of the coloration and presence of white cotton.
Please notice the decoration in the elem, which is quite unique and fanciful.
This chuval is not nearly the age of the previous and we’d date it to circa 1830.
The last and final piece is a very rare Chodor chuval:
We are extremely partial to this chuval’s layout of large torba gol and small banner gol secondary and have always wanted to bag one.
We never managed to and really appreciated getting the opportunity to examine this one.
We’d date it to the early 19th century and, for comparison, would like to illustrate a slightly earlier one, from the “Blumen in der Wuste” exhibition and catalog:
They both are quite similar, sharing the same coloration and elem panel design (the acor/Boston’s showing a slightly later doubling of the ashiks).
They differ in this one’s utilizing two different versions of banner gol for the major and minor, while the acor/Boston’s main gol is the torba-gol.
We do prefer its kotachak main border to the Blumen’s double-stem flower in a box design.
Hey now, that’s all we have time for today -- stay tuned for our wrap up of the collector show and other acor/Boston comments.