RK Replies: Greeting Francois:
We felt it pertinent to address some of your questions but by doing so we are not trying to trump any response John might wish to forward.
All the squawking about the "ratio" our Ebay description elicited was just that - squawking.
We clearly EXPLAINED our particular way of qualifying the "ratio" and if everyone had carefully read that it would have prevented most of the dumb comments.
To explain our position it might be best to say any such ratio is not nearly as significant as the PROPORTIONS a weaving exhibits.
It is possible to have an impressive vertical to horizontal count(one close to 1:1) and still have a later piece and, also, the visa-versa.
But, unlike a ratio, proportions don't lie.
So for RK a weaving's proportions are far more important than any ratio could ever be.
By the way, when we speak of proportions we are referring to all the proportions not just one type, like for instance, how round or compressed the gols might be.
Determining how good, or old, a Turkmen weaving is requires considering many facets and among these proportions are as important as any other.
The chuval we sold was a good one.
Was it a masterpiece?
Surely not but compared to others of the type we have seen we felt it was a superior one.
As we mentioned some time ago in discussing this chuval, we have some fragments of a similar but much older example.
Sorry no pics will be posted but if you come to New York when we in town we will be glad to show them to you for your edification.
Bon jour, John.
Mr. Cassin's unquenchable curiosity in these matters has indeed clarified that I hail from the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
You might remember us... we are a former colony of your great United Kingdom. You fought bitterly with the French for the right to harvest the pelts of our beavers and other animals to keep your heads warm. So we have two founding nations, and exist next to the world's "hyperpower".
A humorous Canadian once remarked that Canada had the potential to be the world's greatest country, with British the polital system, French culture and American business acumen.
Instead, we have a French politics, American culture and British business acumen (a nation of shopkeepers, indeed).
Please consider that most of the discussion about the chuval formerly owned and sold by Mr. Cassin was not centred around the age. Instead, many (myself included) didn't find it a particularly compelling example of that genre, especially if compared to presumed pre-1850 examples.
I hope you can agree that none of us can say for sure whether the chuval is 1850 or earlier, since there are no certain criteria for precisely dating these pieces. However, one criteria that was proposed by Mr. Cassin (who you acknowledge as one of the world's foremost experts) is the vertical:horizontal knotting (or weft/warp) ratio.
One of the controversies was that Mr. Cassin's description of this ratio was wrong, so logic dictates that his inference that this ratio was an indicator of early age for that chuval must also be called into question.
I have three final questions for you, and then I will remain silent.
First, do you agree with Mr. Cassin that the vertical:horizontal (or weft:warp)ratio is an important indicator of early age?
Second, do you agree with Mr. Cassin's analysis of the weft:warp ratio?
Third, considering the relatively few examples of early chuvals in this format, could you post a picture of your chuval so that we can compare it to others? I am sure that many others, including Mr. Cassin, would be interested in seeing any new examples of pre-1850 chuvals of this type. Francois.