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Early Turkoman Yomut Main Carpet

Early Turkoman Yomut Main Carpet


322 x 173 cm


This early Turkoman Yomut main carpet with a kepse gul design dates to the early nineteenth century.

It is a carpet with great gravitas, which is a product of a combination of colour, simplicity of design and spacing and scale.

Seven diagonal rows of kepse guls constitute the field design. The rows alternate between white/blue and red/blue series of guls, and each diagonal ends in a half complete gul on the border, with the first pair of incomplete guls at the bottom of the sides only rudiments of the whole form.

Interestingly, the half guls ending at the bottom and top borders of the field contain in their centre the C elements, or half-moon shapes,  which we know from the so-called  c-gul carpets of the Yomut tribe. This might well be an indication of this carpet having been woven in a geographical  area where other, “foreign” designs were known, or by a weaver who had been exposed through other contacts (through inter-tribal marriage, for example) to elements of a different design repertoire.

Hans Sienknecht, in his investigation of the development of c-gul carpets, includes a very similar kepse-gul carpet  to the piece in hand: it has the same diagonal arrangement of kepse guls ,which, in this case, have the c element in the centre of all the guls. This carpet, which is in the Textile Museum, Washington, is also dated to the first half of the nineteenth century (see Sienknecht, Hans, “A Turkic Heritage. The Development of Ornament on Yomut C-Gul Carpets” in: Hali, Issue 47, October 1989, pp. 30 – 39,  specifically figure 20, page 39).

The main border in our carpet is flanked by two minor borders with a lattice of diamonds filled with squares. On the sides, the border design is a curled leaf, at the bottom and top ends it is a chain of spiked flower heads within white octagons.

The elems at both ends are a network of trefoil plant structures almost the shape of tridents. Overall, the design language of the carpet is one of strict geometry, as is typical of Turkoman carpets. (For another, later,  Yomut Main Carpet with a kepse gul on this website see A comparison illustrates the development of the design from very simple, sparse decoration towards a somewhat busier field design).

The carpet is woven in a symmetrical, or Turkish, knot with a brown weft. It is in excellent condition.