Classification home page

    IN the chapters which follow an attempt is made so to set forth in description the principal types of Oriental rugs that a clear and comprehensive idea may be formed, in the mind of the reader, of the general quality, appearance, color, design, texture and usefulness of each.

    Attention is called to substitutions which are continually practiced by vendors-substitutions made possible only by the general lack of knowledge, among purchasers, of the points in which one rug differs from another. Many names, sufficiently legitimate in their way, but which are not included in the recognized nomenclature of the trade, are attached by dealers, of their own fancy, to particular grades of rugs. I have taken, as stated in the opening chapter, the names in use among rug men in Smyrna and Constantinople. No American buyer who has ever run the gauntlet of the Levantine traders in these great markets has come away accusing them of stupidity, and their fertility in new and fetching Oriental titles for what are in all essentials established varieties of rugs, and thoroughly localized, has long ago been proven. It is believed, however, that the classifications here made include all the standard fabrics.

    I have found upon inquiry in the rug centers of Asia that in some cases names given in Constantinople as indicating the town or province where the fabrics bearing them were made are erroneous, and have come into use merely through the fact that the rugs were taken to these towns for market. Persian dealers, receiving orders from Constantinople, are often at a loss to know what is wanted, as the names given do not comport with those in use where the rugs are made and marketed. To substitute here in the headings the names by which the fabrics are known at home would cause endless confusion. Therefore the trade titles are used, correction, where it is of importance, being made in the body of the text.

    The running descriptions bear more especially on design and coloring, and the extreme difficulty of making these in anywise clear, in so small an allowance of space, must be apparent, since the conditions leading to infinite variation in both have already been touched upon. The whole aim has been to arrive, by inductive process and exclusion, at the true type in each class, group and variety.

    Details of the texture-the knot employed, the material of warp, weft and pile, the length of the pile, the number of knots to the inch, measuring horizontally for the warp and perpendicularly for the weft, and whatever special peculiarities may belong to each variety-are set down in their respective columns in the tables which will be found at the end of the book. Where the texture of a certain weave is at variance with the tables I make bold to believe that it is because the fabric is not true to its type, but is either degenerate or capricious. In many points the tables are amplified by the descriptive matter. It is necessary, in order to give a clear idea of the classification, to present here a skeleton table comprising all the classes.

DAGHESTAN - 1. Daghestan Proper.
2. Derbent.
3. "Kabistan" or Kuba.
4. "Chi-chi" or Tchetchen.
5. Cherkess or Circassian
2. Soumak or "Sumak".
3. Shirvan.
4. Kazak.
MOSUL - 1. Mosul Proper.
2. Turkman or Genghis.
3. Western Kurds.

KONIEH - 1. Konieh Proper.
2. Kir-Shehr.
3. Kaba-Karaman.
4. Yuruks.
5. Anatolians.
SMYRNA - 1. Ghiordes.
2. Kulah.
3. Demirdjik.
4. Oushak.
5. Bergamo and Ladik.
6. Ak-Hissar.
7. Meles or Carian.

AZERBIJAN - 1. Tabriz
2. Herez - (a) Bakhshis.
(b) Herez Proper.
(c) Görevan.
(d) "Serapi" or Sirab.
3. Kara-Dagh.
2. Kurdistan Proper.
3. Kermanshah.
4. "Sarakhs" or Bijar
5. Koultuk.
6. Souj-Bulak.
FERAGHANS - 1. Feraghan Proper.
2. Sultanabad.
3. "Saraband" or Sarawan.
4. Hamadan - (a) Kara-Geuz.
(b) Oustri-nan.
(c) Burujird.
(d) Bibikabad.
5. Teheran-Ispahan-Saruk.
6. "Jooshaghan"orDjushaghan.
KIRMANIEH - 1. Kirman Proper.
2. Shiraz.
3. Niris.
KlRMANlEH - 4. Mecca.
5. Khorassan.
6. Meshhed.
7. Herat.

1. "Bokhara" or Tekke.
2. Yomud.
3. "Afghan" or Bokhara.
4. Beluchistan.
5. Samarkand.
6. Yarkand and Kashgar. home page
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