Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Tekke Gopaz Engsi Elem Motif
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Tue, Aug 1st, 2006 11:37:10 AM
Topic: Tekke Gopaz Engsi Elem Motif

Several weeks ago a Tekke engsi of an unusual and rare type appeared on Ebay.

We learned of this after being alerted to the listing by one of our friends.

We have a standing agreement with several different people, and he is one of them, that if we purchase an item after being alerted to it by them we will pay them a quite liberal commission.

That is how we learned of the engsi listing, which included by the way the Ebay seller using some quotes and a photo from the Weaving Art Museum’s Turkmen exhibition where a similar but much earlier engsi is illustrated. (http://www.weavingartmuseum.org/exh3_3.htm)

That’s exactly how things went down – we were informed of the Ebay listing and the fact it had some info and a photo from WAMRI, we decided to buy the ensi, we bought it and then paid our informant his commission.

There was nothing fishy or clandestine about our purchase regardless of what that rug idiot, professor steev price, has tried to imply.

Soon thereafter one of his romper room rug chat buddies, louisdub, posted several photos of the ensgi on clownland’s chatboard, taken from the Ebay listing, and began chattering about it.

The chatter, which varied from inane to semi-conscious, focused on several of the more unusual features this engsi displays, particularly the motif used in the lower elem:

elem motif from the Ebay Tekke Engsi

Notwithstanding the typically erroneous accusations professor clown has made concerning our alleged clandestine “involvement” in this sale and other equally as stupid ones, the “discussion” the posting of our purchase in clownland elicited can only be characterized as more of the same from the bunch of rug fools that circle around there like flies over an open sewer pipe.

One thing, though, that even they noticed concerns the rarity of this design, whether used as an elem motif or in any other manner.

John Lewis wrote into RugKazbah the other day and said he has a Turkmen piece, but not an engsi, with that same design also used in the elem and asked us for some comments.

We asked John to send us photos of his piece and the elem and today we received the following photo:

motif elem motif from J. Lewis

The similarity is easily spotted but there are some differences that become apparent when they are carefully viewed.

We will be glad to write a bit about this comparison soon but hope until we do some readers might want to add their comments.

So, as soon as we have some more free time we will revisit this thread, until then enjoy thinking about this.

Author: jc
Tue, Aug 1st, 2006 11:37:10 AM

This morning we received the following email and photo from John Lewis:

“Here is a second piece (a late wedding rug) with a similar elem.

I guess Louis was incorrect in his statement that it is a rare/unusual elem.”

While the similarities here with the gopaz engsi elem, as with the other example John provided, are unmistakable, there are still a number of quite easily detectable and significant differences.

Before any meaningful discussion could ensue those differences should be cataloged and, then, if possible the reasons for them also noted.

Although RK does not find this particular elem motif(amulet) to be very significant or the rarity of its use anything important, we do agree it is unknown on any other engsi and its use there somewhat curious.

However, that stated, we might add a big “So what”.

Clearly, the best articulation of the motif is on the gopaz engsi but this sould not be hard to imagine as it is obviously much older than either of the two examples John found.

Neither of the pieces he sent can be called historic but, rather, they are what we call airport-art because they exhibit no features we associate with early Turkmen weaving.

The first piece John sent, which we’d guess to be a torba, and the second, which he tells us is a small wedding rug, both appear to date post 1880 – well within our concept of the airport-art period.

Of the two renditions of the elem motif, the late wedding rug which by the way we prefer calling a small format Tekke rug (SFTR) rather than the far more ubiquitous and misleading “marriage rug” term rugs of this ilk are now known as, displays a far more accurate interpretation of the design. Does this have any significance?

We’d have to say “Who cares” or “So what” solely in answering such a question because of the lack of any veritable historical connections either of those examples possesses.

The gopaz engsi is significant for a number of other reasons besides the rarity of that elem motif and while that is another added attraction, it surely isn’t the one RK would have focused on or created any discussion about. .

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