Herat Antique Oriental Rugs

An Integrated Collection: Why?
This article is the second in a series on the importance of building an integrated collection.

The initial article addressed the basic elements constituting an integrated collection.

The topic now becomes why such a collection is more meaningful than the haphazard buying of ‘this and that’.

There are two basic reasons. They are distinct but they are related.

This article will discuss one of the two reasons. The second will be included in a subsequent article.

The Aesthetic: A Woven History
Consider for a moment important rug collections of recent vintage and the books documenting their existence.

The common element in all these collections is that they are integrated.

An important collection thoughtfully assembles, carefully preserves and frequently attempts to organize a specific group of the artifacts from the weaving heritage of another culture.

It is more than an accumulation of pretty rugs.

An important collection tells a visual story, a story that serves to educate those who see it.

Let’s take a hypothetical collection. Let’s assume it is an integrated collection of antique and semiantique rugs and weavings of south Persian nomadic and semi-nomadic tribal groups.

As always, factors such as color intensity, dye quality, general condition, age and aesthetic merit are important.

But the pursuit must also be focused, disciplined and goal oriented.

As weavings are acquired in our hypothetical collection, categories can be developed.

For example, one group may record the interpretations of and the eventual evolution in certain established nineteenth century design-types, such as the ‘tulip’, the ‘herati’ or the ‘mini-khani’.

Gradually, as the collection grows, is refined and matures, one will see the emergence of multiple and distinct interpretations of these designs depending on factors such as age and tribal origin.

Another group may include rugs featuring the ‘boteh’.

The integrated collection permits a visual and historical documentation of the ‘boteh’, its use, its placement and form, all within the context of south Persian tribal work.

We could go on but hopefully the point has been established; the integrated collection as the woven history of now extinct weaving cultures.

The next article will discuss another important reason for developing an integrated collection; a reason usually considered taboo and certainly not discussed in public!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or observations, please feel free to email. I really enjoy hearing from you!!

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