In the latest issue of that rag hali there is an article written by ben evans & Suzan Bayraktaroglu about some Anatolian rugs in the Vakiflar Museum’s Ankara branch.
Most of those pictured are less than stellar compared to many far earlier pieces in other Turkish museum collections but there are two worth a few minutes of RK’s time to mention.
The first pictured below is a rather pedestrian somewhat common western Anatolian type that quite honestly we are surprised was pictured in the article, let alone as the first entry.
So-called Memling Gol carpet, from Zagnos Pasa Mosque, Balikesir, Turkey; Vakiflar Ankara, inv.no.2005
Even more to our amazement is the eminently questionable date the authors have hung on it, 1550-1650.
Calling this rug late15th century is ridiculous, and shades of dennis dodds’s claims about his bogus “bellini” since there is not one iota of evidence it pre-dates at best the middle 18th century.
The authors then go on hyperventilating by declaring:
The association of this ubiquitous hooked medallion design with the Flemish painter Hans Memling (1440-1494) is firmly established, but few early rugs with it are known, making the addition of this example to the known corpus an important step.”
RK is surely familiar with the lack of expertise that rag hali’s editor ben evans still possesses even though he has been sitting in the editor’s swivel chair for a number of years.
His ongoing inability to write anything cogent, forget about inspirational, about an Anatolian rug, or any other type, remains a given.
RK does not know his co-author, who according to the article has been traveling far and wide in Turkey collecting and studying rugs in all the various depot, mosques and other places they have been preserved.
We can only state if she went along with this obviously ridiculous over-dating she, like evans, is in desperate need of some re-education.
The other example illustrated in the article that caught our eye, but for different reasons, is this truly excellent example of a very rarely seen type. Unlike the over-dated Memling, it is grossly under-dated!
“from the Pazar Mosque, Vakiflar Ankara Museum, inv.no. 2048-48.06.12
The authors try to advance the case this rug is from Melas as it was discovered in the Mosque there, however, this is not much evidence and often examples of this age were commissioned from afar and given as gifts by important local people.
We would guess, based on certain factors to place it farther north and east in the vicinity of Aksaray, rather than Melas.
The bolder, less intricate, elements of its design and its effervescent coloring are, in our opinion, far more typical of Aksaray weaving area than of Melas.
Regardless of its origins, this Ankara Vakiflar sejadeh is the second best of type we know coming after, quite after mind you, the earlier, but quite damaged and disfigured, example formerly in the Joseph McMullan collection.
This fragment is, in our opinion, datable to the later part of the16th century; formerly Joseph McMullan collection; illustrated in his catalog: Islamic Carpets, Plate 80
And although it is not in the class of McMullan’s, the silly “19th century or earlier date” evans and Bayraktaroglu published for the Pazar Mosque rug is both laughable and lamentable, not to mention as sensationally ignorant as dating the Memling rug 1550-1650.
Over-dating by centuries a not very significant rug and under-dating by almost as great a time period a truly exemplary one demonstrates how ill-equipped many respected, so-called experts, on the rug-scene are.
Is RK the only person to notice this?
If so, then rugDUMB is in big trouble….but, hey, what else is new?