The New
Rug Society
Presents An

Rare and Unusual Turkmen Pile Weavings



Exhibit Notes

Tech Notes



An Introduction to the Exhibition
by Jim Adelson & Yon Bard

Perhaps no group of weavings has been more thoroughly classified—by shape and usage, by structure, and by tribal origin—than the pile weavings of the Turkmen. It is no surprise, then, that collectors are often attracted to the rare pieces that have few known comparables or that altogether defy classification, and to the unusual pieces that differ from the norm for their class. The present exhibition seeks to showcase such pieces.

In the first category—pieces that belong to classes of which few other examples are known—we can count the Saryk tentband (5) and the Eagle-Group trapping (20). Exhibits that appear to belong to no known class include a lozenge-shaped object (3) and a narrow torba-like trapping (21).

Pieces may be unusual for a variety of reasons: their structure (2), their palette (15, 16), or their design, either in overall appearance or in specific elements (most of our exhibits). They may be totally quirky in their design (8, 9), or they may possess an unusual grandeur (4). They may combine aspects associated with different tribes in a single piece, thereby complicating attribution (11,12). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they may be (or were, before they became worn or fragmented) unusually beautiful (1, 10, 14, 19). Of course, several of our exhibits belong in more than one of these categories.

On the labels accompanying the exhibits, you will see thoughts on what is rare and unusual about the pieces.

We titled the pieces according to the owners’ choices. In particular, we took no position on whether “Ersaris” should be labeled as such, or as Beshir, Middle Amu Darya Valley, Left Bank, or Right Bank.

We would very much like to hear viewers’ opinions on these pieces; most of all, we’d love to know if anyone can shed some light on the more obscure entries. Please send email if you have comments.

Enjoy the show!


Online Exhibition 

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New England Rug Society
All Rights Reserved

Rare and Unusual Turkmen Pile Weavings