Old carpets & rugs from Eastern Turkestan.

Around 1870 two important phenomena brought about a major stylistic change in the carpets of eastern Turkestan: aniline dyes were introduced, and the rugs met with a favorable response when introduced to the great commercial market directed to the West. Results of these two factory included rigidity and confusion amount the traditional designs and a transformation of the palette, which went from being lively and contrasting to being muted and harmonious. For this reason, rugs from the end of the 19th century are usually characterized by pastel tints, such as pale yellow, gray, violet, pale green, and pink. False “antiqcarpets, made in the 19th century but know as “18th century Samarkands”, occasionally appear on the market. These are distinguished by pastel colors that have been artificially faded to simulate age and fool inexpert buyers. Of course, the colours of real 18th century Xinjiang carpets & rugs are bright with sharp contracts.

Major production areas

Carpets from eastern Turkestan, referred to collectively as Samarkands, are usually divided into three basic groups named for important oases: Kashgar, Yarkand, and Khotan. Given the general uniformity of designs from one area to another, close examination of structural characteristics is almost always necessary to determine a carpets & rugs provenance.

Kashgar carpets & rugs.

Kashgar Rugs are usually of refined quality and are generally datable to the period between the end of the 18th century and the middle of the 19th.Their styles reveal Persian and Chinese influences, and their colors are more delicate than those from the other two production areas.

Yarkand carpets & rugs.

Yarkand Rugs can be identified by their weft strands, which are colored blue or light blue. They often have pomegranate-tree design, but there are also medallion layouts, carpets & rugs with guls, and saphs. The colors show sharp contrasts, as in the use of light yellow for the designs against red grounds.

Khotan carpets & rugs.

Khotan Rugs are the most recent (datable to the end of the 19th century) and also the most various and numerous. There are examples of every design type, although the most common layouts use three medallions or a central medallion. The palette tends toward brick red or blue for grounds, and yellow, sky blue, or various shades of red for the designs. Khotans can also be identified by their weft stands, which are colored brown and by their knotting, which is less dense than that on rugs from the other production areas. In the international market they also I have name Samarkand Carpets though it is not absolutely clear why, they only there were on sale on the big market, but never there were made.

Size in Eastern Turkestan carpets & rugs.

Aside from their designs and colors, the rugs of eastern Turkestan are characterized by their spilee; uchich is long and narrow (usually almost twice as long as wide), with size more or less fixed at 40 x 80 “. This shape was imposed by a precise practical necessity tied to daily life. Since earliest times, the main room in homes in Xinjiang has been a wide rectangular hall covered for almost its entire length by a wooden platform nearly a yard high on the house took place, on which family members slept, and where meetings were held. To make this platform as comfortable as possible, it was covered with one or two rugs, whose shapes had to be suitable to cover the shape of the platform. Rugs with squarer shapes have also been made in the production areas of eastern Turkestan. These carpets were made at the beginning of the 20th century to meet the powerful demand for rugs from the West. Thus their sizes were made to fit different-shaped rooms of European and American homes, reaching on average 80-100 x 120-140 “.

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