Since RK finished Part IV we have been pondering the best way to demonstrate the two main points of our Anatolian kelim discussion:
1.the difference been what we have called proscribed and prescribed design
2.our belief there is a demonstrable time-line chronology for each and every type of Anatolian kelim.
We finally decided to initially illustrate the 11 archetype kelim we have mentioned and then show how we believe they are the templates for all other, later, examples.
Let’s start with the four from the deYoung Museum collection.
First is what RK considers to be the most important and earliest. We call it the “S” kelim:
Plate 27; Anatolian Kilims; Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; 1990
Second is a kelim we call the “rhombs”:
Plate 28; Anatolian Kilims; Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; 1990
Third is a kelim from Afyon and we will call it by the same name:
Plate 57; Anatolian Kilims; Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; 1990
And fourth is a kelim we call the “vulture”:
Plate 58; Anatolian Kilims; Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; 1990
RK’s only choosing four kelim out of the 110 illustrated in the catalog might strike many kelim lovers as strange and extreme.
But, when dealing with true art historical comparison, only the most careful and detailed analysis can hold its own against the push of time.
The expert is not fooled or influenced by personal likes or dislikes, nor can the fashions of the moment be considered.
That push of time has a way of washing away fashion and personal taste, and the history of oriental rug studies is littered with the mistakes many scholars have made by allowing less than the most absolute and critical reasoning to affect their judgment.
Excellence is a tough taskmaster, and RK’s opinions are not casually determined, whether about Anatolian kelim or the way we chose to live our life.
Striving for the best possible, and the willingness to put up with the hardships this course of action demands is not for everyone, we don’t expect it to be.
So let’s move on here, and RK trusts all will become more clear when our examination of Anatolian kelim is finished.
Number 5, out of the 11 archetypes, is a piece from the Vakiflar Museum, in Turkey. Regrettably it was not included in the Vakiflar kelim book.
We call this kelim the ‘compass’:
Collection Vakiflar Museum
Number 6 has already been illustrated in our examination. It is the east Berlin saf:
Collection Museum fur Islamische Kunst; Berlin, Germany
The remaining 5 are in our kelim collection and, even though we have already illustrated 4 of them in our examination we will, for convenience and comparison, illustrate them once again.
The fifth we are illustrating for the first time, and it is number 11 on our short but tight list of archetypes:
Plate 1; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989
Plate 2; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989
Plate 4; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989
Plate 5; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989
Plate 3; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989
These 11 kelim are, as we have already stressed, the only archaic period examples we have seen.
Granted we do not know every kelim that still exists, but we do well know every published one, and a number of unpublished others in the many collections we have personally seen in the past 30 years.
Should any reader feel we have missed one we will be delighted to add it to our list.
But, quite honestly, we doubt one exists, and to back up our claim we offer a special paper-bound two volume copy, one of only a few remaining, of our Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim book to any one who can produce a picture of an archaic period piece.
We will also require our having the opportunity to view and examine the piece at some future time.
RK is proficient enough to know from a good 2 or 3 megabyte picture, and a closeup or two, if a kelim is archaic period or not.
The only reason we wish to have the opportunity to handle it is person is for our own pleasure.
In the next part, Part VI, we will begin to further explain why these 11 are what we claim; what the proscribed and prescribed words are all about, why every known Anatolian kelim can be directly traced to one of the 11, and how every known Anatolian kelim type can be placed on an historical continuum
where one of the 11 can be shown to be the
This, we know, is a tall order but RK has been researching Anatolian kelim for 30 plus years, and not only are we able to chew such a task but we can, be assured, digest it without burping.
So all you kelim-freaks go study the 11; go compare them to any and all the pieces in your collection, or ones that you know; and if you are willing to extend the effort to write in here to question what we are doing, please do not hesitate to try and critique us, or prove us wrong.
But, remember, RK will not allow anyone to come here and attack us with innuendo, slander, defamation, or any other type of unprofessional personal attack.
Bring your brains and not your egos; bring fact not hearsay and baseless opinion.
We welcome all comers, who know how to debate their positions with integrity, knowledge and honor.
Anatolian kelim are the king of slit-tapestry, the tradition is clearly ancient and, only because of the sacred and proscribed nature of that tradition, have pieces like the 11 remained for us to enjoy, marvel at and learn from.