Antique Tekke Turkoman Main Carpet

Antique Tekke Turkoman Main Carpet


262 x 193 cm / 8'7''x 6'4''


This antique Tekke Turkoman main carpet dates to around the middle of the 19th century.

Like another, slightly earlier Tekke main carpet on this website (see ), the piece in hand speaks of good age and gravitas.

The field design is classic Tekke main carpet: four columns of ten main guls (meaning ‘flower’ in Turkic languages), with secondary ornaments in the spaces in between. According to the late carpet academic and Turkoman specialist Jon Thompson, this form of gul is the oldest one used in Tekke main carpets (see Turkmen. Tribal Carpets and Traditions. Edited by Louise W. Mackie and Jon Thompson. The Textile Museum, Washington D.C., 1980, p.98).

There are a number of interesting idiosyncrasies  in this carpet.

First of all, there is the rather obvious ‘wonkiness’ in the shape of the main guls in the bottom row, especially the two in the middle. Judging by the slight irregularity on the back in this area, this might suggest a less experienced weaver was responsible for the creation of this section of the carpet, especially when compared to the perfect evenness of the weave in the rest of the carpet.

Secondly, the centre of the guls in the two bottom rows is stepped; it is a rectangle in all the subsequent rows.

And lastly, the secondary elements change after the first row of guls, just like a change in the carpet in the above mentioned publication (plate 27, p. 99), only in that piece the change occurs in the top end. According to Mackie and Thompson, such a change in the secondary element is an argument against the theory that secondary guls signify tribal subdivisions, which makes perfect sense to us.

The border in our carpet is simple and not over decorated, which is typical of relatively early pieces, as is the quality of the wool and the dyes.

This is a beautiful piece of tribal art and a classic for smart interiors.