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Antique tapestries from Central Asia to be auctioned in India

(IANS) / 29 May 2012

A selection of antique carpets, rugs, kilims, runners, tapestries and fragments from the famous weaving regions around Central Asia - known for their ancient wool weaving traditions - will be auctioned in Bangalore June 11 by Indian auction house Bid & Hammer.

The auction will be the company’s first sale of antique textiles. The 120 lots on sale are estimated between $280 and $22,500. Most of the collectibles that will go under the hammer are more than 100 years old, a statement from the auction house said Monday.

The auction house said the collection includes tribal carpets from regions like the Caucasian mountains, located between the Black and Caspian seas, which have nations like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Dagestan (Russia); the Persian Zagros mountains area; the Kurdish enclaves of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria; the high and middle Atlas mountains of Morocco; and republics of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Almost all of the weaving groups from these regions were nomadic and migrated to other regions for climatic reasons. Their weaves reflect a potpourri of diverse ethnicities, tribal lifestyles and indigenous customs, the auction house said.

The material used for Central Asian carpets is a predominantly high mountain wool with some exceptions containing a little cotton. The colours are natural in the older 19th century samples. The new carpets of the early 20th century use inorganic colours.

The condition of the carpets varies from some seemingly untouched pristine antiques to those that have worn out and may have been repaired or left in their genuine used condition, the auction house said.

Chairman of Bid & Hammer M. Maher Dadha said, “The focus is on Central Asian tribal carpets. They are spontaneous and are personal expressions of the weavers.”

He added that the carpets on sale have been procured from private collectors from the US, Europe and Central Asia.

Describing one of the exhibits, Dadha said,””One good example is the Karabagh rug which was woven in the southern Caucasus region in the last quarter of the 19th century”.

“It has unusual dyes and field patterns,” Dadha explained.

Other textiles accessories include a hand-woven woollen Amritsari carpet created in 1900 (estimated at Rs.1,30,000), a French Aubusson-style carpet (estimated at Rs.90,000) and a 19th Century Flemish tapestry of a landscape (estimated at Rs.2,50,000).

Historical accounts say the carpets in central Asia were woven by the Turkmen, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Karakalpaks, Kirghizs and Kazakhs; in northern and northeastern Persia; and in the Uighur areas of Sinkiang in China.

The oldest well-preserved knotted pile carpets and flat woven rugs were excavated at Pazyryk in southern Siberia by Russian archaeologist Sergei Rudenko.

 

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