Home > Archive >Beetlebags Don't Bug RK: Windle does
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Thu, Jun 28th, 2007 11:02:18 AM
Topic: Beetlebags Don't Bug RK: Windle does

The single soumak khorjin (saddlebag) front on the cover of “The Bosporous To Samarkand” is a very well-known example, especially since it has caused someone RK characterizes as a know-little poseur hajji-baba poohbah to rhapsodize lyric about it in print a number of times. Well at the least windle might feels so; RK surely doesn’t.

Regardless of the author’s stature in our eyes, his dumb and dopey lyricizing’s nothing more than amateurish dribble and sophomoric supposition.

So we can successfully make our position clear to all, even the myopic and prejudiced like windle et al, we are publishing a large format picture of it along with its archetype, which is presently online in the Weaving Art Museum’s current exhibition “Soumak & Kelim: Weaving of the Caucasus”

First The Bosporous To Samarkand example:

And now the Weaving Art Museum example:

These large format pictures allow the more complex iconography displayed by the Weaving Art Museum’s piece to be compared with the far simpler and less detailed version the other demonstrates.

It also allows the viewer to identify the differences in perspective and proportion, as well as the vertical compression often exhibited by later copies.

We intend on discussing these soumak khorjin fronts further, particularly in conjunction with the uninspired and somewhat droll origination theories offered by that poohbah hajji, who incredulously believes he is anywhere but still lost in the deep end of the sauce.

Author: jc
Thu, Jun 28th, 2007 11:02:18 AM

The khorjin face on the cover of the "From The Bosporus to Samarkand"(FTBTS) was many, many moons ago sold with its pair(other half) at a sothebys.

This happened when the sotheby saleroom in NYC was located on Madison Ave and they were still called Sotheby Parke Bernet.

Dave Chapman was the owner of the bagfaces at the time of the sale and also at the time of the FTBTS’s publication.

The buyer at the sale, who will remain nameless for the present, was involved in the rug game and still is now but more as a closet-case rug dealer, who is hidden away somewhere on the East Coast, than a high profile auction buyer.

No matter in further identifying this person but it is noteworthy some years later he sold them off.

What exactly happened to them after that, or to whom he sold them, are both not something we remember right now.

All this palaver is to say RK has handled both of the FTBTS faces and know them quite well.

We also recognize they are later copies of the WAMRI example but that said they are still quite early and better than almost any other of the type.

We realize our saying so might cause doubt amongst some readers and, frankly, we could give a flip. However and although we are not here to educate the competition by divulging too much, we will point out a few interesting aspects to prove our point.

The strong vertical compression visible in the FTBTS khorjin's quartet of red octagons; the much less complex "script" placed in the central medallions six horizontal “radial arms” and the far less animated and articulated treatment of the stars in medallion's center are just a few aspects where this difference is obvious and telling.

Notice if you will the way the weaver of the WAMRI bagface has the top row of stars “disappearing” into the upper limits of the medallion. This, and other small but significant features we could cite, denotes this weaver’s stronger connection to the tenets of the archaic iconography that were surely the source of this enigmatic design.

Calling this design a “beetle” is both ignorant and foolish. We would rather go on record with our belief this design is related to the earliest piece of “Caucasian” embroidery we know.

We cannot at this time provide any real documentation to prove our supposition other than the somewhat similar design parallels they share.

Plate Two; Weaving Art Museum current exhibition “Soumak & Kelim: Weaving of the Caucasus”

But as undocumented as this relationship might presently be, the idea the design has anything to do with “beetles” is far more tenuous, droll and unsupportable.

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