The word “important” is defined as “marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence : valuable in content or relationship” by the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
However, and quite regrettably, it is been thrown around in rugDUMB like a ball in a rugby pitch. And in the process has ended up about as sweaty and dirty.
Perhaps its use began with sotheby, when long ago they deemed to call at least one of their formerly several rug auctions each year ‘important’.
Like sotheby, certain ruggie would-be pundits and punters, like that certain dealer from Nurnberg, Germany who believes he is a Kelim cognoscenti, have picked up that ball and tried to run with it to the goal-post, ie use it to make the sale.
Case in point this central Anatolian Kelim recently offered for sale on the internet.
RK does not intend to debate its merits, or lack of them, but rather can flatly say there is little to nothing ‘important’ about it, save perhaps Herr Nurnberg’s desire and need to sell it.
Though that said we will, as an exercise, point out a few salients we believe our readership can sink their teeth into, as well as learn a thing or two while they are masticating.
Herr Nurnberg also should he be in attendance; it might enlighten him to recognize his challenged beliefs.
And, by the way, before we begin: It’s not 18th century, either.
In our “Anatolian Kelim Opus”, which is getting pretty close to its 5,000th read, RK set out a thesis, which basically states there are 11 archetype Anatolian Kelim and all others can be shown, and proven, to be derived directly from them. This proof being by art historical analysis.
Readers unfamiliar with this work should take the time, and energy, to become so now.
Here is the URL:
You will have to cut and paste it into your browser window because RugKazbah.com’s discussion board does not, purposely mind you, support active links.
Herr Nurnberg’s piece, a ‘striped’ Anatolian Kelim if you will, can be easily shown to be comprised of several by now well-known and recognized archaic period elem, end panel, icons.
This lifting of much earlier iconography, and recombining it, occurs in all weaving cultures. The skill with which it is done invariably indicates where a weaving fits in the oeuvre.
Because of the proprietary nature of the iconography employed by Anatolian groups who wove Kelim, and the isolated territories they inhabited until around the middle of the 19th century, it is eminently possible to place their woven products within continuum.
And those continuum can, at this point, provide for collectors and researchers the most solid ground on which to both understand and judge them.
It also allows them to be ‘relatively’ dated.
In that Anatolian Kelim Opus RK established a chronology of four major periods -- Archaic, Classic, Traditional and Industrial – and then divided each period into three sub-divisions – early, middle and late.
Based on that chronology Herr Nurnberg’s Kelim is assigned to the early traditional period.
Again, “eighteenth century”, like “important”, is another overly used, and rarely correctly applied, term in rugDumb. And Herr Nurnberg’s attempt to double-down with it is even more critiquable. And while it is old, early 19th century is far more plausible and realistic 'dating'.
Calling it 18th nothing but over-dating, or just more unsupportable rug-dealer wishful thinking.
Without further ado let’s demonstrate how the three elem panel icons (the only designs used in the alternating stripes), from several archaic period Anatolian Kelim, found there way into his much later slit-tapestry’s composition.
The first, and probably most significant is a modified birth symbol.
Here is the archaic version of the same icon.
Both appear to be very similar in these small detail photos but in person certain subtle distinctions can be observed.
Sorry, RK is not a teacher who is going to spoon-feed our readers, rather we aim to provide food for thought that hopefully will lead those who are motivated to learn on their own.
But comparing the entire archaic Kelim shown below should squash any doubts.
The second icon is what RK has rather prosaically dubbed a doll. Actually, this refers to it respresenting an effigy.
Here, however, the differences are plain as day – the two versions below displaying magnum amounts of animation and articulation able to reduce the later version to nothing but a sterile mute copy.
Below is the earlier pure version from this archaic group Kelim
And this one, also below, is a more complex version from this late archaic period Kelim
The third elemic icon is one we call the S. In our Tent Band Tent Bag publication text we discussed the late Bronze Age source of this icon as representing a style of hairdo shown on a rare group of clay female statuettes. We refer readers there for more elucidation.
It, too, is equally well represented in the small but potent iconic vocabulary of the archaic period Kelim group, as the following two details demonstrate.
Below are the two masterpiece Kelim where those icons have been enshrined.
There should be little doubt there is a causal and mathematic relationship all post-archaic period Anatolian Kelim share with those from the archaic period. A careful reading of RK’s Anatolian Kelim Opus work makes this abundantly clear.
The exact age, or even any reliable guesstimate, for the age of any Anatolian Kelim, made post mid-19th century, is nothing but fanciful opinion. However, placing them on a continuum, as RK has done, provides far more assurance. And the relative age quotients such continuum establish are the only reliable reference available.
According to our long experience collecting and researching Anatolian Kelim we sincerely doubt Herr Nurnberg’s is pre-1800. Nor by any definition, beside his self-interested one, is it important.
Is it beautiful?
We will gladly leave that judgment to the viewer, as opinions unlike a fact of age or a declaration of importance are irreproachable.