Greetings Allan and welcome to RK.com.
In your post that now has the photo of your torba included therein you asked some specific questions as well as raising some general ones about rug identification. We will try to address some of those without turning this into Rug 101.
By the way it seems you also posted a similar inquiry on ****.com, right? From the looks of things over there you didn’t receive much information. That is typical for steev price & co.’s sandbox – so don’t feel dismayed, as there really are genuine answers to your questions.
According to price “Judging from the colors, I'd guess that it was made between the two world wars, but colors seen on a computer monitor can be pretty misleading.”. This, like the majority of his efforts with Oriental Rugs, is far from accurate and anyone who has been a long time RK.com reader, or has carefully read through our archives, knows we have proved steev is, at best, a seriously challenged rug dummy. Readers also know RK.com’s policy has been to ignore him and his rug sandbox chat room and this mention should not be construed as changing that situation.
You contacted me by email some days ago and through that contact and email exchange learned your torba was made circa 1870-1880 and were advised to write into RK.com’s board for further info.
Now that you have done that we can proceed to answer your questions.
Let’s address one – what is the value – that most people have about their rugs. Your torba would most probably bring at a good auction (one where buyers who are knowledgeable are present) from $500.00 US to $1000.00 but since auctions are extremely variable, especially on the down side, it might sell for as little as $200-$300. I seriously doubt the upside would be higher than $1000.00 but anything is possible at an auction, especially when folks with only a little knowledge get hyped up. And that happens all the time!
For insurance purposes I’d suggest $1,500.00.
You also ask: “…how does design, color, arrangement of patterns, establish what tribal group made the item.”. This question, unlike value, is far more demanding and, in brief, none of those criteria are actually determinants of a weavings provenance. It is the structure – weaving techniques- and materials used that indicate provenance. Of the ones you mention only color plays any significant role in the provenance process.
After the invention and manufacture of synthetic dyestuffs, which basically happened in the later part of the 1860’s-70’s, the presence of one or more of these dyes positively determines a weaving’s terminus a quo. However, the absence of synthetic dyes doesn’t mean a weaving was made prior to their invention, as in many outlying and isolated areas these dyes were not available or prohibitively expensive. Also since, prior to progressive developments in their manufacture, many of those early 19th century dyes were unstable and of inferior quality it can be deduced some weavers realized this and eschewed their use for those very reasons. Unfortunately they were surely the minority and most weavers, if they could, made use of these dyes and this factor, probably more than any other, helped to destroy the majority of the Near East’s weaving cultures.
Your torba might have a synthetic dye and only a hands on investigation backed by reliable scientific testing could positively determine this but such an effort would be, in my opinion, unnecessary for your purposes.
I like your torba for what it is – proof of the vestigial remains of an ancient weaving culture.
Soon as possible we will continue to discuss it, particularly the kejebe pattern
which it so prominently displays.
So check back for Part II of Craddock’s Torba.