Early Tekke Turkoman Main Carpet

Early Tekke Turkoman Main Carpet


256 x 215 cm / 8'5''x 7'1''


This early Tekke Turkoman main carpet probably dates to around 1800.

Five columns of nine guls as the primary elements constitute the field; they are connected by a grid of horizontal and vertical dark blue lines going through the centres of the guls.

The border design is simple and bold: it is a sequence of octagons filled with four interconnected stars on a red, blue or white background. The spaces between the octagons are sparsely decorated with geometrical patterns, namely chevrons, diagonal crosses, combs and pairs of red diamonds in a white square. The overall simplicity of the border and the squarish size of the carpet are indicators of an early date, as are other features of this beautiful carpet: the presence of an unfaded, saturated turquoise as well as, unusually in a Tekke,  yellow, the supple handle and ‘dry’ sound it makes, the velvety, lush quality of the wool and the, according to Thompson (see reference below), oldest form of gul used in Tekke carpets –  all speak of an old carpet.

As discussed on a different page of this website,see  http://www.christopherleggeorientalcarpets.com/products/view/antique-tekke-main-carpet/

main carpets were made as part of the dowry to be displayed at the wedding, and thus were important statements of the bride’s family’s wealth and status. Only the best materials and highest skills were employed in the production of dowry pieces. This is clearly evident in our main carpet.

A similar carpet, though fragmentary, was sold in the 1993 Sotheby’s sale of the Thompson collection, published as lot 12 in Turkmen and Antique Carpets from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Jon Thompson. Especially the elements between the octagons in the border are almost identical. It is dated to the “18th or 19th century”.

For further discussion, including the above mentioned types of guls, see Mackie, Louise W., and Jon Thompson, (eds), Turkmen. Tribal Carpets and Traditions. Washington, The Textile Museum, 1980, in particular pages 96 to 118.

This Tekke main carpet has  the guard stripes missing and there are a few minor repairs, but it is overall in excellent condition