Tribal Rugs and Antique Nomadic Rugs – Cracking The Code
This past Wednesday we had the second in a 4 part discussion series about antique rugs – co-sponsored by the Hajji Baba Club. The first lecture was an overview and introduction to the trends in the antique rug market. This time we dove right into one of the most fascinating aspects of historical rug and textile weaving – the antique tribal rugs and nomadic carpets. We singled out three of the top geographic areas that are synonymous with producing some of the best and most collectible antique rugs – Caucasian rugs, Persian rugs and Turkish rugs.
Led by Jason Nazmiyal, the talk began with the fascinating and artistic Nomadic Gabbeh rugs. For those of you who are not aware, Jason has been in the business of buying and selling antique carpets for the last 30 plus years. During the 1980’s he hosted the first lecture and pretty much introduced the American consumers and collectors, for the first time to the folk art rugs of Gabbeh weaving.
The nomadic and tribal carpets are the most widely collected rugs. As opposed to the fine city made rugs, the antique tribal rugs were created by the weaver with no influence from outside designers. As such, we get a fascinating glimpse to the psyche of the weavers who created them. We also get to see what the weaver perceives to be beautiful.
The tribal rugs and nomadic carpets offer more than just decorations. Every single one of them, has a deeper meaning, we just need to know what to look for. The motifs were created with a thought process behind them but most of us, who have not studied art history, might look at them and appreciate the beauty but not even think that they have such profound connotations.
Jason had chosen to single out a few of these motifs. He explained that just like in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, there is a story there and we just need to learn their language in order to be able to understand them.
Patterns that might look purely geometric to the Western eye, might symbolize flora or plants, and are intended to convey messages, beliefs, wishes, whims, and even rebukes.
The meanings are conveyed down to the smallest detail—from the color to the kind of flower woven into the rug.
– The geometric representation of a person indicates the weaver has a baby on the way.
– Camel – The Camel was a vital animal of burden and as such, it signifies blessing.
– The eye – Since the people who created these pieces were extremely superstitious, this motif is seen in many of the rugs they produced. The Eye motif is the ultimate defender against the “evil eye” which is a spirit like being that can wreak havoc in a person’s life and even kills.
As the evening progressed, we moved from one village to the next. We covered many different Caucasian, Turkish And Persian rug weaving centers. One by one, rugs and textiles were presented and explanations were given about the different aspect of their intended use and the meaning behind the design elements.
Time flew by and before we could even get through all the pieces we wanted to show, the time was up. Judging by the volume of questions and comments, this lecture was a huge success for the 40 or 50 people in attendance.
Our next lecture is scheduled for January 15th which will be devoted to the sophisticated style of fine city carpets and workshop masterpieces from India, Persia and other regions.
The seating is limited so please call us at (212) 545-8029 to reserve your place
All the seminars will take place at our Midtown Gallery, 6:00 – 8:00pm