By now many readers have probably figured out RK believes the small motif displayed on the field of kaffel’s soumak bag has also been derived from the more complex one in the main border of the earlier soumak bag to its left.
Here are the photos again:
There are a number of telltale signs this assessment is valid and the following two are the most significant:
1. the similarity of the outlines both motif exhibit
2. the placement and emphasis on horizontal extensions both versions utilize.
But how do we know which is the model and which is the copy?
This question is a bit harder to prove, especially to those who are not versed in the design history these soumak khorjins, as a group, maintain.
Perhaps the most salient aspect of this model/copy connection is the design within the central rectangle of the kaffel bag’s field motif. Notice how this small design relates to the one found in the very center of the inner most(green field) medallion of the other bag. Granted they might appear quite different due to the rather hard to visualize situation these low-resolution jpegs cause. But when they are carefully compared and closely examined this relationship shines through.
I have always marveled at the design in this medallion center and, even after more than 10 years of study, its meaning, or even its source(s), remain mysterious.
This relationship with motif on kaffel’s bag is the first time any similar design (besides those in the few other, and later, copies of this bag that are known) or association has been found.
The overwhelmingly vast subject – What were the sources for Oriental Rug designs? - is a fascinating and incredibly important one both RugKazbah.com and the Weaving Art Museum have tentatively explored in some of their online exhibitions and/or posts.
If there is one topic that can be singled out for far more in depth research this surely would be number one on that list. RK intends to continue to offer comparisons like this one and hopes that others, too, will turn their attentions there as well.