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Re: [rug-fanatics] Baluchi with two dates

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  • Brian Marantette
    Hello , I like the hands. I would be interested to see a good close up of the back, including side finish and ends. In looking at the posted pictures, my
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 31, 2007
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      Hello ,
       
      I like the hands.
       
      I would be interested to see a good close up of the back, including side finish and ends.
      In looking at the posted pictures, my instinct tells me 1960 or newer. Colors, design, and the fact that many rugs have been produced with bogus dates within the last 50 years.
       
      The dates may not be bogus to the weaver, there may have been a purpose, but the dates do not neccessarliy dictate the age of the rug. Pictures can be mis-leading though, and maybe I am missing something.  How much oxcidation is there in the dark walnut wool ?
       
      Brian

      namazlyk <peparethos@...> wrote:
      In my photo album (titled "namazlyk") I have placed images of a
      Baluchi prayer rug with "Fatima hands" that bears what appear to be
      two dates. On the right hand there is the number 1222 in Persian
      numerals and on the left hand the number in Persian numerals: 1254.

      If these are Hijri dates, then in the Gregorian calendar they are
      equivalent to 1807 and 1838 respectively.

      Dates on carpets often record the year in which the carpet was made.
      There is no one, I am sure, who would say that this Balouchi was made
      on either of those dates (it is definitely much less than one hundred
      years old).

      So what are the possibilities?

      A. I have read the dates incorrectly. Well, I have checked pretty
      thoroughly and I am confident they are correct. However, if Persian
      numbers are anything like Arabic numbers when they are used, the 2
      and the 3 can be very difficult to distinguish. In modern Arabic
      handwriting, the 3 takes the form of a 2 and the 2 comes to look
      something like "c".

      If we follow this thinking, then the numbers change from 1222 to 1333
      and 1254 to 1354 respectively. Converted, they are 1914 and 1935. As
      possible dates for the production of the carpet they make more sense.
      But why two dates?

      B. The dates could simply be ornaments or decorations in the sense
      that they were put there as mere numbers because it was thought that
      numbers would add some character or value to the carpet. Equally they
      could have been copied from another carpet. In either case they would
      have no meaning for this carpet.

      C. If the dates are 1807 and 1838, they could be a reference to an
      historical period of reign or leadership, or perhaps the date of
      birth and death of an important person. Does anyone know of anything
      significant in Baluchi history that these dates might refer to?

      D. If the dates are 1914 and 1935, then at least we are in the
      possible period of production of the carpet. We can again consider
      the possibility of an historical period of reign or leadership, or
      perhaps the date of birth and death of an important historical
      or "national" figure.

      E. It is generally accepted that woven products were sometimes
      produced as dowry items. As such, they commemorate a marriage. Is it
      possible to use a carpet to commemorate a death? These dates have a
      kind of tombstone feeling: 1914 – 1935 (a life of only 21 years). Of
      course, you don't know a death is coming as you do with a wedding,
      and carpets take a long time to produce, so this carpet is unlikely
      to have been used as part of any burial ceremony (such as a coffin
      cover). However, is it possible that a young wife wove this carpet to
      memorialize the (birth and) death of her husband at the young age of
      21, and in doing so distracted herself from the pain of her loss?
      Less romantically perhaps, it is also possible that the weaver was a
      mother grieving the loss of her 21 year old son.

      On this theory, this carpet was probably woven within a year or two
      of 1935. As a date of production, that seems pretty good to me (70
      years old or so).

      So the question I pose is whether this is a "tombstone" carpet? Is
      anyone aware of any other carpets bearing two dates? Or that appear
      to have been used to commemorate a death?



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    • Sarah Baldwin
      I like the hands, too. How often do you see hands with rings? Are rings on the fourth finger of any meaning in Baluch culture? I don t know how seriously
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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        I like the hands, too. How often do you see hands with rings? Are
        rings on the fourth finger of any meaning in Baluch culture?

        I don't know how seriously anniversaries in general are considered in
        that culture, either, but it could be possible that the dates reflect
        the the anniversary of a marriage or of some other important event.
        Does 21 years have a significance, as it would in this country?

        And, given the consideration that it's felt that the colors etc
        reflect a more modern production, perhaps it honors the dates of
        parents. Just my thoughts.

        Sally Baldwin
      • namazlyk
        Brian Thanks for your comments. I have put three more photos in my photo album showing the back and sides and ends. I look forward to your comments on these.
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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          Brian

          Thanks for your comments.

          I have put three more photos in my photo album showing the back and
          sides and ends. I look forward to your comments on these.

          You could well be right - the dates could be just bogus. But it was
          fun thinking what they could mean.

          In thinking about the age of the carpet, I have mostly ignored all
          the other factors including oxidization, of which there is little or
          none. And that does, as you say, suggest a much earlier date. I
          wonder whether the dark brown colour is rather a modern chemical dye
          than a colour produced by an oxidizing agent like iron filings. The
          red is certainly chemical and not madder.

          I have to say I don't know much about modern Baluchi carpets. I
          confess to having had that bad attitude of ignoring anything that
          didn't seem to me to be at least 100 years old.

          By the way, I bought this carpet in Syria about 5 years ago.

          Peter

          --- In rug-fanatics@yahoogroups.com, Brian Marantette <bem212959@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hello ,
          >
          > I like the hands.
          >
          > I would be interested to see a good close up of the back,
          including side finish and ends.
          > In looking at the posted pictures, my instinct tells me 1960 or
          newer. Colors, design, and the fact that many rugs have been produced
          with bogus dates within the last 50 years.
          >
          > The dates may not be bogus to the weaver, there may have been a
          purpose, but the dates do not neccessarliy dictate the age of the
          rug. Pictures can be mis-leading though, and maybe I am missing
          something. How much oxcidation is there in the dark walnut wool ?
          >
          > Brian
          >
          > namazlyk <peparethos@...> wrote:
          > In my photo album (titled "namazlyk") I have placed
          images of a
          > Baluchi prayer rug with "Fatima hands" that bears what appear to be
          > two dates. On the right hand there is the number 1222 in Persian
          > numerals and on the left hand the number in Persian numerals: 1254.
          >
          > If these are Hijri dates, then in the Gregorian calendar they are
          > equivalent to 1807 and 1838 respectively.
          >
          > Dates on carpets often record the year in which the carpet was
          made.
          > There is no one, I am sure, who would say that this Balouchi was
          made
          > on either of those dates (it is definitely much less than one
          hundred
          > years old).
          >
          > So what are the possibilities?
          >
          > A. I have read the dates incorrectly. Well, I have checked pretty
          > thoroughly and I am confident they are correct. However, if Persian
          > numbers are anything like Arabic numbers when they are used, the 2
          > and the 3 can be very difficult to distinguish. In modern Arabic
          > handwriting, the 3 takes the form of a 2 and the 2 comes to look
          > something like "c".
          >
          > If we follow this thinking, then the numbers change from 1222 to
          1333
          > and 1254 to 1354 respectively. Converted, they are 1914 and 1935.
          As
          > possible dates for the production of the carpet they make more
          sense.
          > But why two dates?
          >
          > B. The dates could simply be ornaments or decorations in the sense
          > that they were put there as mere numbers because it was thought
          that
          > numbers would add some character or value to the carpet. Equally
          they
          > could have been copied from another carpet. In either case they
          would
          > have no meaning for this carpet.
          >
          > C. If the dates are 1807 and 1838, they could be a reference to an
          > historical period of reign or leadership, or perhaps the date of
          > birth and death of an important person. Does anyone know of
          anything
          > significant in Baluchi history that these dates might refer to?
          >
          > D. If the dates are 1914 and 1935, then at least we are in the
          > possible period of production of the carpet. We can again consider
          > the possibility of an historical period of reign or leadership, or
          > perhaps the date of birth and death of an important historical
          > or "national" figure.
          >
          > E. It is generally accepted that woven products were sometimes
          > produced as dowry items. As such, they commemorate a marriage. Is
          it
          > possible to use a carpet to commemorate a death? These dates have a
          > kind of tombstone feeling: 1914 – 1935 (a life of only 21 years).
          Of
          > course, you don't know a death is coming as you do with a wedding,
          > and carpets take a long time to produce, so this carpet is unlikely
          > to have been used as part of any burial ceremony (such as a coffin
          > cover). However, is it possible that a young wife wove this carpet
          to
          > memorialize the (birth and) death of her husband at the young age
          of
          > 21, and in doing so distracted herself from the pain of her loss?
          > Less romantically perhaps, it is also possible that the weaver was
          a
          > mother grieving the loss of her 21 year old son.
          >
          > On this theory, this carpet was probably woven within a year or two
          > of 1935. As a date of production, that seems pretty good to me (70
          > years old or so).
          >
          > So the question I pose is whether this is a "tombstone" carpet? Is
          > anyone aware of any other carpets bearing two dates? Or that appear
          > to have been used to commemorate a death?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Never miss an email again!
          > Yahoo! Toolbar alerts you the instant new Mail arrives. Check it
          out.
          >
        • namazlyk
          Sally Since you like the hands and the rings, I have put two images of another Fatima hands Baluchi in my photo album - but this time it is truly an older
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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            Sally

            Since you like the hands and the rings, I have put two images of
            another Fatima hands Baluchi in my photo album - but this time it is
            truly an older carpet. However, there are no dates. I don't know what
            the rings signify but in this case we have four rings rather than two.

            It seems like a good idea that the rings suggest marriage and that
            may be the clue to the dates. Perhaps the dates are a reflection on
            the past from a much later time when the carpet was made - the date
            of birth and the date of marriage of the maker. The carpet could have
            been made on the 50th birthday (1964 - Brian would be happy with that
            I think) or the 50th marriage anniversary (1985 - seems a little
            late), for example (of course that is all just conjecture). Are we
            entering the realm of numerology?!

            Peter

            --- In rug-fanatics@yahoogroups.com, "Sarah Baldwin" <slb@...> wrote:
            >
            > I like the hands, too. How often do you see hands with rings? Are
            > rings on the fourth finger of any meaning in Baluch culture?
            >
            > I don't know how seriously anniversaries in general are considered
            in
            > that culture, either, but it could be possible that the dates
            reflect
            > the the anniversary of a marriage or of some other important event.
            > Does 21 years have a significance, as it would in this country?
            >
            > And, given the consideration that it's felt that the colors etc
            > reflect a more modern production, perhaps it honors the dates of
            > parents. Just my thoughts.
            >
            > Sally Baldwin
            >
          • Barry O'Connell
            Sarah Baldwin wrote: I like the hands, too. How often do you see hands with rings? Are rings on the fourth finger of any
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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              Sarah Baldwin <slb@...> wrote:
              I like the hands, too. How often do you see hands with rings? Are
              rings on the fourth finger of any meaning in Baluch culture?

              I don't know how seriously anniversaries in general are considered in
              that culture, either, but it could be possible that the dates reflect
              the the anniversary of a marriage or of some other important event.
              Does 21 years have a significance, as it would in this country?

              And, given the consideration that it's felt that the colors etc
              reflect a more modern production, perhaps it honors the dates of
              parents. Just my thoughts.

              Sally Baldwin


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