Herat Antique Oriental Rugs


Turkmen Uzbek Rug
Nurata Basin, Uzbekistan

4’ x 7’4” (fragmented)


Attribution is based on structural features, materials used in the foundation, border design elements and the process of elimination.

The loss of the side constructs complicates the attribution process.

The field composition appears to be both rare and old. No similar or comparable examples were found in the literature.

Update: Occasionally, it is necessary to update the descriptive text. This weaving can still be accurately called 'rare and of considerable age' but I recently discovered what appears to be a late example from the design group represented by # 199. It appears in the auction catalog of the Austria Auction Company for its auction of March 15, 2014 (lot # 42). This lot shows a late and design-degenerative example.

One should recall, however, that until 1944 no one had studied the weavings of the Uzbeks of the Nurata Basin.

In 1944 and 1946, V.G. Moshkova conducted two expeditions to the region.

Consequently, it is likely that a wider range of patterns existed than was discovered by this field research.

It is reasonable to conclude that this rug is a non-commercial weaving and the field design is an old, perhaps indigenous, one.

It is interesting to notice that the ‘lozenge with hooks’ motifs in the main border can also be found in certain Turkmen work.

The colors in this rug are from natural dye sources. They include two shades of red and a ‘peach’ color which likely has a madder origin.

Condition: The condition is obvious from the photograph. The rug is a large fragment with the surviving pile in a reasonable state of preservation.

Wool (sheep), camel/goat hair, in various shades of brown and ivory.

There is considerable irregularity in the plying of the warps.

Some warps are a combination of sheep’s wool and camel/goat hair while many are exclusively camel/goat hair.

The warps are moderately displaced (depressed).

Wool, natural shades of brown, mostly dark brown. There are two wefts between each row of knots.

Asymmetrical inclined to the left.

The loss of the original sides makes attribution more problematic in that distinctive features of Nurata Basin Turkmen Uzbek short pile rugs include both the dimensions and the weaving characteristics of the selvedges.

The bottom end has been lost. The surviving top finish is done in flat weave in a traditional stripe pattern and braided warps endings.

Moderately firm.
On Request
Elmby, Hans, 'Antique Turkmen Carpets, Volume One' 1990, plates #3 and 4. (A Tekke chuval and torba with similar border design).
Elmby, Hans, 'Antique Turkmen Carpets, Volume Two' 1994, plate # 13 ( A Saryk torba with similar border design)
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