Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >RK examines Anatolian Kelim
Part VII.A
Author:jc
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Wed, Dec 30th, 2009 04:16:17 AM
Topic: RK examines Anatolian Kelim
Part VII.A

In Part V RK offered up a challenge for any reader who doubts there are only 11 archaic Anatolian kelim to send us a photo.

We reiterate that challenge:

"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.”

Let us restate what we mean when we use the term archaic period: this refers to the first period of Anatolian kelim production – one could say 15th century, as some have intimated is the age of some kelim based on c14 dating; one could say an early masterpiece; one could say “the best and earliest kelim I have ever seen”; or any other superlative to denote the best that is early.

It matters not what words one uses, the result is the same – a kelim of the highest level.

We know how shy and reticent readers are, witness our statement about tens or even hundreds of thousands of people who read a daily newspaper, or weekly magazine, and how many write a letter to the editor?

Hardly one percent of one percent, so RK well realizes the built in impediments to making such a challenge.

That’s why we offered a book to anyone who can successfully disprove our statement.

By the way the book has a value of at least 300 usd, as it is exactly the same as the hard cover edition that sells for 500 usd or more.

In fact go look on rugbooks dot com, our friend Dennis Marquand’s website – he has one for sale that he had hard bound.

Go check it out for youselves, the book is two volumes, each volume when opened is a meter(more than 3 feet) wide and the color plates are of the highest quality.

OK so there’s our challenge – can any of you kelim collectors, or dealers, prove us wrong?

RK is an honest broker and if you do we will send many kudos in your direction and, of course, our book which we will personally inscribe to you.

Next here is a better photo of the kelim we showed in Part VII:

Kelim with “butterfly” emblem

There are a number of 'butterfly" on this kelim but the one in the center, with the blue horizontal line running thru it, and not the other slightly differently articulated ones, to the side, above and below, are the emblem we are discussing.

Analyzing ancient weavings, like Anatolian kelim, requires the examiner be absolutely attuned to even the most minute differences as what we have just pointed out demonstrates.

As we wrote in Part VII we have never seen this motif, exactly as it is rendered here, on anything other than an Anatolian Village kelim.

We do not doubt, however, there is a pile rug with it but that rug, in all our 30 plus years of looking for it, has yet to appear.

We don’t bet where we know we might lose, that’s why we have not wagered in this case.

We will wager there is not Ottoman Court weaving -- pile rug, kelim, or textile, with it in exactly the same form as it appears in the kelim above or any of the other archaic period ones we have published in this exercise.

There is little doubt in our mind this emblem, again exactly the one we have highlighted, is a very sacred one belonging to the long tradition Anatolian Village kelim represent, but more about this in one of the coming parts.

The last photo is an old one, showing RK’s living-room in Greenwich Village circa 1982.

It is a Polaroid, as you can see, so the quality is not the best.

Hanging on the walls are two kelim, in situ in RK's former abode – Plate Three on the right and a bit of the side of Plate Six(our saf) on the left.

Living with our collection, and looking at them every day during those years, 1979-1983, transformed our understanding of ancient Anatolian weaving and prodded us to explore where and how this tradition originated.

We have tried to share that history and mystery, as we like to refer to it, with our readers.

That, and to prove there is valid documentation to the ideas we have developed and forwarded since 1989 when our book Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim was published.

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