Bokhara Tekke, circa 1920
5'9" x 4'7"
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Sizes are approximate. Photographs are not necessarily exact for color.
New Rugs Are Of The Highest Quality In Its Category And Are Handpicked Overseas By The Bashir Family
This wonderfully warm-toned piece features repeating patterns of intricate, octagonal guls divided symmetrically into quadrants. Each gul contains an eight-pointed design emitting spiked projections. Each gul is connected to neighboring guls by horizontal and vertical lines, which run through the field of the carpet. Cross-like minor guls occupy the spaces between the rows and columns of the major Tekke guls. This piece has been woven with woolen warp and weft. It is excellent-quality, hard-wearing wool.
Its multiple borders surround the field of the rug; the center, wider border contains a series of octagonal shapes. Outside borders at the top and bottom of this Tekke rug are referred to as the wide panel or skirt. It contains a hooked diamond motif. Its ground colors are brick red or a dark wine. The Tekke is the most prevalent of the anitque and semi-antique Turkoman rugs.
Bokhara is a term widely used in the West to refer to carpets and rugs made by various Turkmen tribes of Central Asia. Their history dates back centuries. The Turkomans were situated to the north of what is now called Afghanistan. During the early 1900s, the name of Bukhara, a city in Uzbekistan, was given to these rugs. The Turkomans were an industrious people who would barter their trade for food, clothing, etc. As a result, their weavings would invariably show up in bazaars (a type of market) in cities such as Bukhara, hence the name. The city did serve as a transit point for some Turkmen rugs on their way to the West. Nowadays, Bokharas are considered among the finest carpets in Afghanistan and Pakistan, distinguished by their extra fine knots and soft, silky touch. They are also popular worldwide due to their suitability to almost any space.
Bokhara carpets contain a repeating motif known as the "gul" which are commonly found on its main field in larger sizes and found on its borders in smaller sizes. A gul (also spelled as gol, göl or gül) is a medallion-like motif typically found in traditional hand-woven carpets from Central Asia, West Asia and parts of South Asia. These motifs are very ancient and animistic in origin, pre-dating Islamic and Christian times. The origin of the term is uncertain and it is disputed to this day. In Farsi, the language spoken in modern day Iran, it is said to mean "flower" or "rose". Meanwhile in the Turkish language, the term gül means a "rose" or a "roundel" or even a "lake".
The symbolism behind this motif is equally disputed. Their octagonal guls are sometimes referred to by carpet specialists as the elephant's foot in reference to the elephants that would traditionally transport Mughal Empire royalty on their journeys. Other specialists claim that they represent jewels resembling those that adorned the palace walls and crowns of Mughal royalty. This is said to be the case specifically for the Bokharas produced in Afghanistan and Pakistan which are both countries that were ruled once by the Mughal Empire at its greatest extent, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Some handmade carpet specialits claim that the rounder guls do not have any relation to Mughal Empire royalty but instead represent celestial bodies such as the sun, moon or stars. They also claim that the more geometric shaped guls such as the lozenge-shaped ones signify women and that when they are attached to other guls they signify women and men together joining hands. Therefore, it is left to our imagination as to the real meaning behind each variety of gul. To view more Bokhara rugs, we invite you to visit our Bokhara Collection.
Sources and inspiration: Bérinstain, Valérie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Mengčs, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.
Older carpets (antique or vintage) are rugs that date back to the last 100 years. Rugs that are 50 to 99 years of age are referred to as semi-antiques.
They are typically crafted with hand-spun wool and eco-friendly organic dyes, which have a luminous surface, providing an illusion of depth. They have a wonderful patina and character which cannot be usually captured in a newer piece. Each antique carpet is different, as they are found in every type of home and add warmth to pristine and minimalist spaces.
Oriental & Persian carpet designs began to change at the turn of the 20th century, as Western influence expanded across the Middle East. At the time, the native cultural designs began to lose their authenticity because their ability to maintain traditional designs diminished. As the Industrial Revolution came about, preserving traditional master craft techniques became more of a challenge.
- Antique rugs are made of natural fibers such as, wool, cotton and silk. New rugs are made from a variety of fibers including synthetic and natural fibers such as, mercerized cotton, faux silk often called "Art Silk", silk blends and artificial fibers such as, olefin.
- If the rug has signs of wear but still appears to be vibrant, this is an indication of a genuine antique carpet.
- For insurance purposes, you should always obtain a Certificate of Authenticity from the dealer, which should include the size, origin, age, style, materials, knot density, condition and estimated retail value.
- An authentic Oriental rug will not have a brand name associated with it and it will not be hand-tufted.