Cantoni carpet; late 16th century; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
As we wrote Ms. Oakley missed the boat on the Cantoni’s age and below we illustrate some of the others where her guesstimates are often over-dated, as well as surprisingly in some cases under-dated.
A slightly later but iconographically related example to the carpet we cited as the model for the Alexander “aka pink panther” rug is this wonderfully personable and, yes, mystic rug also from the Ala Din Mosque.
Ms Oakely’s dating it, like the other, 17th/18th century is both naïve and comical, as both these rugs display more than enough clues to imply their having been made well before 1700.
Clues like originality of design, masterful execution of ornamentation and proportion, wide early main borders, and likewise splendidly articulated and designed minor borders remain there for all eyes to see.
These virtues should be apparent to any Anatolian Village carpet expert, and Ms Oakley’s missing them entirely does not bode well for her reputation.
As an aside, RK would not be surprised if the medallion of the one we illustrated in Part 2, and again below, provided the modello for those in the Casper-Foy Brunk, aka Sinan according to us, rug.
Here’s a good lesson for you motivated Anatolian Village rug etudiants: Study the medallions on the two rugs carefully and you will see the difference between the overtly powerful (masculine) rendition of the Anatolian Village rug from the Ala Din Mosque and the graceful (feminine) version the, aka Sinan, court atelier/ workshop carpet displays.
This difference is a subtle easily missed one and without someone like RK pointing it out it would be, but now that we have we are sure you all can see it.
Please note it, and if you do it will be a lesson well learned.
Before we leave this let us state we absolutely prefer the Ala Din piece, even as a fragment, to the complete, aka Sinan, rug.
Why? Because as we have written before, we collect and are interested in archetypes, and not beauty.
Of course the aka Sinan carpet is more “beautiful”, but the Ala Din rug exudes the essence that makes Anatolian Village rugs, in our opinion, so far superior to Ottoman “court” rugs there is no contest.
Remember: Beautiful historic rugs are not actually a dime a dozen but they are far more prevalent than archetypical ones, and the Ala Din rug’s specific medallion and spandrel set the bar highest for this iconography compared to any other Turkish/Anatolian rug we know.
Another under-dating, by a century, the article makes is calling this rug, actually three fragments of it, 17th/18th century.
Anatolian Village rug, circa 1600 according to RK; note archetypical “Transylvanian” cartouche main border; Mevlana Shrine, Konya
It’s unfortunate not enough of this rug remains to see the medallion that was undoubtedly similar, but different, to those on the rugs above.
However, always be grateful for small things and the survival of these three fragments allows us to see not a later variant, as Oakley pans it, but a contemporary example that is again a masterpiece.
Here’s another little tip for you motivated etudiants: notice the red and blue bi-colored eight-pointed stars carefully placed in the field.
We are on record stating small stars like these ‘scattered’ in a rug’s field almost always denote post-period, aka post-1700/1750, production.
However here, if you look carefully, the weaver has circled those stars, except one in each quadrant, with a pearl-border type surround that is actually made of tiny stepped-niche or ziggarat white ‘dots’.
Using this pseudo pearl, or is it the archetypal pearl, border around these stars is a small but significant touch; one RK is sure would be, and was in Oakley’s case, lost on most who claim to be Anatolian rug experts.
We could easily go on rapping poetic about the early Village rugs illustrated above but for a number of reasons, not the least of which is our lack of desire to dispense too much information, we will have to stop here for today.
Stay tuned...more to come soon.