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1. Qashga'i camel headdress, Iran, ca. 1900. Lent by Saul Yale Barodofsky
Qaschga'i Kamel-Kopfschmuck, Iran, ca. 1900
2. 'Sunburst ' Karabagh, last half of 19th century, approx. 1.37 x 1.83 m. Lent by Frank S. Eways
'Sonnenbrand' Karabagh, 2. Hälfte des 19.Jh.
3. Pile Carpet, possibly Thrace, ca. 1900. 1.04 x 1.73 m. Lent by Kent and Ginny Peterson.
Florteppich, möglicherweise aus Thrazien, ca. 1900
4. Turkoman ok-bash (pole cover), probably Tekke, late 19th century. 25 x 67.5 cm. Lent anonomously
Turkmenischer Ok-Basch (Zeltstangen-Behälter) wahrscheinlich Tekke, spätes 19.Jh.
Exhibitions: Oriental Textiles and Tribal Rugs
from Virginia Homes

Hali Magazine, 1983, Vol 5, No. 3

University of Virginia Art Museum
Thomas H. Bayly Bldg.,
Charlottesville, VA
18 October-28 November 1982

For this first exhibition of Islamic textiles and tribal objects in central Virginia, the Bayly Museum of the University of Virginia, under its Acting Director David B. Lawall, organized a varied array of nomadic artifacts drawn from local collectors and dealers.
The University was founded and designed by Thomas Jefferson, architect and American President in the 18th century, and Charlottesville's academic community - both students and teachers - is eager to engage in exotic materials such as these. It is the theme of artist as individual rather than artist as organized collective that seems to draw their attention.
This heavily attended exhibition was a good example of just what the cooperative efforts of local dealers and owners can do when given the challenge. The coordination and general organization of the event was capably undertaken by Ms. Dicey Taylor, curator at the Bayly Museum.
Although an exhibition drawn from a small number of collections is bound to be introductory and descriptive rather than definitive, most of the around fifty pieces selected were good examples of their type. One of the most unusual pieces (fig. 1 ) was taken from an extensive collection of beaded trappings owned by Saul Yale Barodofsky who travels extensively in the Middle East. It is a camel headress from the Quashqa'i of Iran, displaying the monarchical symbol of the lion, sword and rising sun.
The good 'Sunburst' or 'eagle' Kazak in fig.2 belongs to a readily recognizable and popular type. This rug excels in its brilliant plant dyes, its proportions and in the clarity of its uncluttered drawing. It was lent by Frank S.Eways whose family has long been established as rug dealers in the Virginia and Pennsylvania area. He is currently President of the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA).
The unusual pile prayer rug shown in fig. 3, is frequently referred to as Monastir in the trade, but little has been published on the origins of these pieces. Frequently thought to be woven in Thrace, these heavily piled and boldly designed rugs have multiple yellow wefts and dark brown undyed warps. They can be quite attractive and this one is an excellent example of the type. Beneath the stylized prayer arch the vestigial columns at the base of the decorated side panels, relate this piece to the more 'artitechtural' group of prayer rugs that characterizes central Anatolian weaving.
Representing the Turkoman tribes was a number of small mafrash and chuvals. However, the finest piece was a very attractive ok-bash (pole cover) (fig. 4) which is probably attributable to a Tekke weaver. Parallel ivory bands containing chevrons give great movement to the design and the piece is woven in closely clipped lustrous wool.
Another intriguing nomadic artifact (fig. 5) was an extraordinary yurt surround, possibly from the south Caucasus. I have seen other such Kurdish artifacts in the little known Ethnographic Museum in Van, Turkey, but none of similar structure and with such a bold pattern. The reed segments are wrapped with dyed wool to form the pattern and then joined with twine. The design itself is seen in 19th century Caucasian carpets of 'transitional' type and is remarkably akin to published examples of that group (see S.Yetkin, Early Caucasian Carpets in Turkey, Vol.1 plates 25-28; also C.G. Ellis, Early Caucasian Rugs, plates 16-17). The provenance of this piece is interesting since it was purchased in Teremekke, north of Kars in eastern Anatolia by a Turkish carpet dealer.
Some areas could have benefitted from more and better pieces including Turkish kilims and Persian village and tribal material.
A listing of all the objects plus many photographs was cleverly iserted into the local newspaper as a special supplement. Advertising in this supplement by local rug dealers made the insert profitable to the newspaper and subsequently gave the exhibition a permanent record.
The Bayly Museum intends to hold further exhibitions that will likely uncover an even richer source of pieces from local private and dealer collections. It is in the spirit of that continuing quest for discovery and education that collectors - and museums - can bring these objects and their message to the attention of an otherwise unknowing, yet eager public.
The photgraphs are by courtesy of Ed Roseberry.
5. Kurdish yurt surround (detail), possibly southwest Caucasus, Teremekke area, mid 19th century., reeds wrapped in dyed wool, 1.22 x 25.2 m. Lent by Saul Yale Borodofsky
Kurdische Jurten-Umrahmung (Detai1), Mögl.Südwest-Kaukasus, Teremekke-Gegend, mittl. 19Jh. mit gefårbter Wolle umwickeltes Schilfrohr
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