Home > Turkmen Rugs > The Eagle group have landed or have they really?
Sun, Mar 24th, 2013 04:33:36 AM
Topic: The Eagle group have landed or have they really?

Continuing to publish a plethora of pictures, many with where the piece sold and for what, john taylor has now added what he calls an “Eagle Group Primer” to his G-Town Diary blogsite.


Since RK is far more interested in the nuts and bolts of Turkmen Carpets origins and traditions than it sold here for what, we see taylor’s effort as rather light-weight.

And while everyone should appreciate the effort that goes into scanning so many photos from books and auction catalogs, and then occasionally digging up scarce trivia, taylor’s opinions and conclusions are far less worthy of honors.

By the way, RK includes ourself in that group of appreciators.

However, we find it immensely difficult to allow taylor’s often obtuse and incorrect ideas to go unnoticed, and therefore we have to again tutor, and yes critique, him.

Beginning with, for lack of any better description, what we must call dumb taylor launches his dinghy into the rough and tumble “Eagle-group” waters far more suited to much more substantial craft.

“In 1908 General Bogolyubov,in the descriptions to his carpet album, inadvertenly christened one of two main carpets an “Eagle” design.”

Unless taylor is a mind-reader of the dead and departed why in Heaven’s Name does he claim the original Turkmen carpet fan-boy, General Andrei Andreevich Bogolyubov’s, use of the eagle moniker was “inadvertent"?

Frankly, this just goes in the growing file of obtuse taylor comments.

Surprisingly, at the very end of his Eagle Group Primer taylor states:

“Why did General Bogolubov instinctively associate the Main carpet Göl with a spread-eagle? He was surely thinking of the Russian symbol of state,the double-headed eagle,which entered Russia during the 15th century via the Byzantines.”

So by his own admission the good General’s eagle moniker is not inadvertent by any means.

RK knows taylor and we’d venture to say his forgetting what he wrote at the beginning is due to his often inebriated condtion, something that might have served Ernest Hemingway well, but surely isn’t the case for a wannabe rug world art historical pundit.

Ok so much for taylor’s lack of awareness to his own writing, let’s spend a few words discussing what is now routinely known as the “eagle” group.

There is little doubt taylor has worked hard to assemble the many “Eagle-group” weavings pictures and brief notes his latest issue of the G-Town Diary offers.

That said the commentary is surely far less informative, and quite miniscule in comparison.

In fact, so minscule there is little for RK to critique, and this lack of anything resembling original research or idea is the greatest fault of taylor’s work once again.

Had we the time and desire to offer our own we would spend considerable time separating what we see as Tekke weaving from that which genuinely is “Eagle group” following the guideline the Rautenstengle and azadi book advances.

Unfortunately for our readers we are not ready to release our research on this topic, and will have to pass the opportunity to do it today.

That said we can definitely prove a number of non-Main Carpet(MC) supposed “Eagle-group” pieces are NOT “eagle-group”.

RK is not surprised with taylor’s ludicrous belief Turkmen weavers, like those which created the “Eagle-group” medallions, were copying Caucasian and Persian examples.

This is nothing but classical rug snobbism, and the fact john taylor tries to advance this “theory” is nothing but belly-laughable.

It also proves his inabilities to be anything but a cut-and paster.

Another stumbling block taylor can not help ending up on his butt over is not classing the weavings he publishes as good, better and best(old, older, oldest).

Readers familiar with RK’s approach to this issue, building continuum or assigning periods(traditional, classic or archaic), will immediately notice taylor’s lack of even an inkling of the importance such classification adds to any commentary or to creating increased understanding for Turkmen weaving culture.

This requires far more expertise than a light-weight like taylor can muster, ‘nuff said.

For instance, here is taylor weighing in on an “Eagle-group” MC that is anything but a late and boring.

“In the same year Bukowskis in Stockholm auctioned the famed Faberge rug for $48,410.It is remarkable for its pristine condition.”

That “remarkable condition” condition taylor mentions is only a function of this carpet’s fin de la series, and surely not a worthy comment any prescient commentator would offer.

Time is short for RK so we must finish by adding our brief comments to those taylor offers at the end of his “Eagle-group” look-see.

“Whoever the Eagle makers were, the best of their work is on par with the most exalted of Turkmen productions.”

We agree completely but remember some of those, according to taylor and others, “Eagle-group” weavings should actually be attributed to other Turkmen groups, particularly the Tekke.

“They were able to invent their own vocabulary,based on what is surely a kind of Tekkified Yomut,and were aware of other artistic movements in the Turkmen world.”

“Tekkified Yomut”? Clearly this be but one more taylor statement made after stumbling over those aforementioned blocks and ending up flat on his face.

For mr taylor’s edification those weavings are Tekke, sir, not Yomutified anything.

“Some creations are uniquely their own,including the Eagle Göl itself,the Bird-Octagon Göl with its Anatolian atavism,and the Diamond Göl Trappings.”

RK gives taylor a C+ for that sentence because the Diamond gol he refers to is surely not an “Eagle-group” invention or convention. Back to the books, taylor, do some work before flapping your jaws.

“The lack of any assignable Ensi is perhaps an indicator of their more urban origins.”

This is, perhaps, taylor’s most ridiculous and ignorant conclusion.

First off, and most salient, is the fact many pre-commercial period engsi were undoubtedly made by urban weavers, hence the large proliferation of this type of Turkmen rug.

Second, since every Turkmen rug has not been discovered and new finds are constantly appearing every year, this is no base on which to build such a blanket statement.

Third, and while we do agree with taylor’s idea many “eagle-group” weavings exhibit traits far more assignable to urban, ie workshop, weavers RK harbors the thought the archetypes those “Eagle-group” weavers modeled were probably made by non-urban Turkmen.

We must close here and leave readers with this final say-so: Turkmen weaving culture is far more a question-mark than a conclusion and efforts like taylor’s seem to forget this axiom and present a picture that is not nearly as neat and complete as an author like taylor imagines.

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