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Thread: A Question about a Ersary Main Carpet

  1. #1

    A Question about a Ersary Main Carpet

    I got this email today and it seemed better suited to this new site than a simple email. Some questions and answers are not that simple... Barry
    Hello Barry,
    How many years does ist take approximately, till a woollen warp fringe is worn down like on the Ersary Main Carpet 2 shown on http://www.spongobongo.com/ersari2.htm - assuming the fringe is turned to the entrance of a kibitka in daily use by a family of five (or any other standard).

    By the way: with the Ersary quoted, you don't mention the condition of the carpet. When do you use condition as one of the determinants of age? - only if at variance with other factors, e.g.color?

    Do you know of a thesaurus of accepted standards for this and similar questions used e.g. in examinations for sworn experts?


  2. #2
    Hello Dietrich,
    I hope to get some help answering your questions and all the questions it opens up and my friends can help me stay real on this.
    First of all I never saw that rug. The picture and description are from Sotheby's:
    Lot 66, Sotheby's Fine Oriental Rugs and Carpets, New York Saturday 12/5/87.
    As far as wear to a carpet like this inside a Kibitka is a matter of some conjecture. You ask about daily use. I am not convinced that a rug like this was used daily. My understanding is that the base layer and for daily was felt. That a rug like this was used for special occasions and guests. I could be wrong so I welcome comments on this. As for wear I do not believe that heavy shoes were worn regularly on this rug. Without shoes and well padded with felt this rug would have a very long life.
    Sotheby's doesn't mention condition but overall the rug looks pretty good. I find Sotheby's to be consistently straight forward and honest so if there was much repair I would expect to see it in the description. I mean this kindly so let me say that Sotheby's represents the conventional wisdom in the rug world. Rarely was a Turkmen run ever dated before 1875 in 1987. Now people date Turkmen much earlier regularly. So when Sotheby's dated this rug to "last quarter nineteenth century" they were saying it was one of the oldest Ersari rugs around. No one seems to date Ersari rugs as early as other Turkmen rugs. I remember Harold Keshishian at a Rug Morning at the Textile Museum talking about this and Harold used to say "They can't all have been made in 1875, some must be older. That being said this rug could be older.
    The comments on that page were ones I wrote in 1997 or 1998. I have learned a little since then. I still believe that the rug is a great example and I suspect it may actually be a Saltchuk Ersari. The problem is that the Saltchuk were Taghan Afghanistan in 1930 but in 1875 they were probably in the Charjui area of present day Turkmenistan. The Saltchuk were the elite clan of the Ersari and Saltchuk is another spelling of the people we know as Seljuk Turk. We know they moved south when the Communists seized Central asia. I am not convinced that there were not Ersari in present day Afghanistan before 1920 but the Tribal leadership was in Charjui and that was the Saltchuk.
    As for a thesaurus there isn't one, Perter Stone wrote the Oriental Rug Lexicon which is useful.

    I hope this is something close to the answer you were looking for.
    Best wishes,
    Barry O'Connell

  3. #3

    Ersari Main Carpet wear-ability

    I had a standard cheap Belouch rug on my kitchen floor from age 25 to age 50. No special care, maybe a wash twice a year and a weekly shake. It took 25 years to wear out completely. Now this type of Belouch is the least hard wearing of all trad rugs and given that the kitchen is the most super high traffic area, and with footwear, this could be some kind of yardstick. viz the minimum age for a rug.
    Also, I have a simple small recently made Afghan door mat in the entry to my shop. In 10 years it shows just a little wear. And it's not a beautiful wool antique rug but rather something ordinary with recent dry wool that is worth $50 new! Still going strong and will probably make 25!
    I'll leave it to you to extrapolate. Consider the vastly superior wearing quality of the early Ersari and the practice of no shoes and even the special occasion only.
    I personally do not factor in wear if I am figureing out a rug's age.

  4. #4
    The rug Barry has shown looks very beautiful and looks that it has superior quality. I have a rug in my room and that has a good quality too. My mom bought it when i was small baby but I think it is very difficult to find top quality rugs easily. Isn't it?

  5. #5
    Hi Rachel,
    You need to know where to look or else spend time searching. If I can ever help you find something let ,me know. I am not in the rug business ut I know people all over.

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