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rug no longer available East Anatolian all-borders long rug, possibly Kurdish, first quarter 20th c.

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East Anatolian all-borders rug - click to see enlarged view


A fleecy east-anatolian long rug, probably dating back to the first decades of the 20. century, maybe from the Hakkari area. The design is what might be called 'all-border', i.e., the narrow central field utilises the same hooked motives as the wide inner border, just on a red instead of a white ground. There is a pleasing variation and play of figure and ground in the motives on the white ground border. The equally wide outer border sports a row of hooked diamonds on madder ground, going all around.

I like the various tiny hooked and s-shaped motives framing the stand-alone hooked diamonds in the columns, and the narrow zig-zag borders separating the columns.

So far, I haven't found a similar example to point to—only topologically roughly simlar overall designs of vertical stripes such as Brüggemann & Böhmer's Teppiche aus Anatolien, plate 114, or Eagleton's An Introduction to Kurdish rugs, plate 76.


The dominant colours are a light madder (something between brick orange and a dark rose shade), a slightly darker shade of madder used as background colour of the central column, a lot of off-white, a medium blue, some of it muted because grey wool has been dyed, a mottled medium green, dark brown for outlining, and a what is very likely a synthetic (but unfaded) violet/purple. This fact alone suggests a 20th c. origin for a rug from the remoter eastern areas of Anatolia. I am not sure whether one could arrive at such a violet hue with natural dyes, but it is a possibility.


The rug measures 291 x 106–111 cm (width varies), or 9ft.5in. x 3ft.5in–3ft.7in. Symmetrical (turkish) knots. The knot density is ca. 5.5h x 8v knots per inch = 44 kpsi. Thick 2-ply medium brown wool warps, thin brown woolen wefts, some bands medium brown, others dark brown. No warp depression, between 3 and 5 weft shots after each row of knots (similar to gabbeh structure). This is quite a heavy rug with long pile, the handle is meaty and very flexible. The pile wool is shiny but seems slightly dry. The selvage is not original (one cord wrapped in dark brown wool, probably machine-made off-the-roll and sewn to the rug). I suspect there may have been a narrow outer border at some point in time. To secure the top end, a thin beige machine-wrapped cord has been sewn on between the woven part and the short open fringe.


Overall, the pile is quite good, longer at the sides, shorter and at times down to knot heads in the central areas. A few isolated areas show corrosion, e.g. leaving some parts of a green hooked ornament embossed on brown foundation. There are some small areas which have been repiled, often with synthetic and ill-matched dyes. At the upper right side, there are two areas where the rug has been 'cut-and-shut', the cuts running from the edge all the way to the central column, to remove wavyness and make the rug lie flat on the floor. (The last image of the rug's back side shows the cut sewn up—this is also visible from the front in the skewing/distortion of pattern in the white ground right border). At a few places, wefts have been progressively skipped near the sides during weaving to remove excess slack. The rug seems relatively clean, I can see no holes, cuts, stains, fading or colour-bleeding.

More images

East Anatolian all-border rug, top half

East Anatolian all-border rug, central area across

East Anatolian all-border rug, field close-up

East Anatolian all-border rug, white border

East Anatolian all-border rug, pattern detail on white ground border

East Anatolian all-border rug, two areas repiled

East Anatolian all-border rug, faded repiling

East Anatolian all-border rug, repiling with strong synthetic dyes

East Anatolian all-border rug, another repiled area

East Anatolian all-border rug, bottom end

East Anatolian all-border rug, bottom half

East Anatolian all-border rug, white ground detail

East Anatolian all-border rug, edge cut-and-shut (back side)

Last update: 08 January 2006 | Impressum—Imprint