ISSUE 146 MAY/JUNE 2006
CONTENTS & EDITORIAL
17 | L E T T E R S
Doing the Karakalpaks justice; ﬁnding the right way to study rugs.
19 | N E W S
Basel Robinson remembered. Stockholm update.
20 | M A R K E T R E P O R T
Navigating the booming antiques market in China: Chris Buckley reports from Beijing and Shanghai, Diana Collins writes from Hong Kong.
27 | P R E V I E W
Exhibitions: Myrna Myers’ costumes; textiles and trade in Prato. Fairs: The HALI Fair 2006.
50 | C A L E N D A R
Auctions, exhibitions, fairs and conferences.
53 | G A L L E R Y
House style advertisements.
59 | B O O K S
The Kashmiri Shawl, Power Dressing; Titles Received.
62 | A K A R U P P U R S A R I
Mattiebelle Gittinger Looking at a seemingly modest yet technically masterful south Indian textile.
65 | W E A V I N G I N A F R E E N Rugs and Flatweaves of the Kurds of Northwestern Syria
Yaser al Saghrji Uncovering the history of a little known Kurdish weaving tradition.
70 | A G O O D M E A N I N G The Powerhouse Museum Ningxia Rug: A Study in Cultural Exchange
Susan Scollay Analysing the auspicious and highly unusual motif of a riderless horse on a Ningxia rug, the symbol for the 2004 ICOC in Sydney.
76 | H O N O U R & M A S Q U E R A D E The Chao Pao at Court and Beyond
Alan Kennedy How disparities in the construction and quality of a group of late Qing imperial costumes could lead to reattributions.
he symposium ‘Kilim & Moderne’ at the Lentos Art Museum in Linz, organised by the Austrian rug and textile society, the TKF, showed how engaging an event such as this can be through a careful choice of invited lecturers. Not only does it guarantee the quality and relevance of the programme content and engage the wider academic community in our subject area, but it helps us to gain new perspectives on textile art. The accompanying exhibition, ‘Nomaden im Kunstsalon’ placed Anatolian kilims from the Prammer Collection alongside art from the museum’s collection, to allude to a shared visual language. When textiles are placed in such a context, it is easy to be excited and ﬂattered by the attention of the art world; in the best cases this process works well, but it often reveals that the way in which we evaluate each of these art forms is indeed unique to that medium – it is like comparing apples and pears. Our preview of ACOR 8 in Boston (HALI 144, pp.31-34; HALI 145, pp.3137), was restricted by the availability of good photographic material, and thus we had no great expectations. Yet Mark Hopkins and the New England Rug Society put on perhaps the best ACOR to date. Its real strength was in the spectrum of exhibitions based entirely on NERS collections, ranging from pre-Columbian coca bags, via Moroccan, south Persian, Baluch, east Anatolian and other Turkish weavings, to Caucasian rugs, all to be reviewed in our next issue. Of particular note were Jeff Spurr’s comprehensive and thoughtful presentation of Central Asian non-pile textiles, and the gem-studded multi-owner selections under the heading ‘New England Collects’. That they were all of such high quality was of particular importance given the lack of any co-operative venture with New England museums to provide added value. It was the quality of the loan exhibitions that highlighted the greatest weakness of this ACOR event, its ephemeral nature. For the ﬁrst time in eight ACOR meetings, there is no published record of any aspect of the event, barring the necessarily limited coverage that appears in these pages, nor any real prospect of providing any, even retrospectively. This is disappointing, as there was much in these shows worth preserving. Finally, the hope that their exhibition in Boston would lift the fog that has descended over Gerard Paquin’s newly discovered group of Ottomanstyle embroideries (HALI 144 pp.58-69) was a vain one. Opinion remains divided, with some ready to assert that they are ‘wrong’, but none ready to step forward with chapter and verse to say why. The controversy was, however, exacerbated by the decision to label them 17th/18th century, a date that Paquin has never claimed for them.
Wedding screen kilim, berda-yeh, Afreen, Syria, early 20th century. In his article ‘Weaving in Afreen: Rugs and Flatweaves of the Kurds of Northwestern Syria’ (pp.65-69) Yaser al Saghrji identifies this as a berda-yeh, one of the two types of wedding kilims made by the Kurds of Afreen. Bar are used as a bridal bedcover and typically consist of three strips joined together, whereas berda-yeh are much bigger and more colourful and are made from between six and nine polychrome panels. They are used during the wedding celebrations as a decoration behind the married couple and subsequently serve as a screen to separate the couple’s sleeping quarters within the home (or tent). Their ﬁnal use is as a cover for the cofﬁn of a family member, after which the local imam is empowered to sell them and use the funds appropriately. The author points out that the adornments that are found on these weavings should not be used to date these weavings since they are often replaced and may well post-date the textile itself. Courtesy Maison Sadraee, Brussels
84 | T H E I T E A
Peter Davies & Muammer Sak A study of itea, ﬂatweaves woven in Cappadocia, Central Anatolia for bread-making.
103 | R E V I E W
Exhibitions: Byzantium in London; auspicious emblems in HK; Indonesian ikats at the Met; woven gold. Conferences: Kilims and modernism. Fairs: Asia Week in NY, ACOR Boston. Auctions: Imperial sale in HK.
123 | A U C T I O N P R I C E G U I D E
The pick of the London Spring sales.
131 | N E T W O R K
135 | P R O F I L E
The omnipresent Joss Graham.
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