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Autumn 2013 / Issue 177

Autumn 2013
Issue 177

Exhibitions in Denver and New York help reaffirm the value of textiles as bearers of cultural significance. We look at the Cleveland Museum's Islamic textiles; SF Tribal Art; Parcours des Mondes; the R. L. Shep Award. Discover more about El Anatsui, Turkmen culture, Zaleski, the Musée Guimet and the ‘Holbein’ rug. Discover why our front cover feature of the Vanderbilt star-lattice carpet has broken saleroom records.

Also featured are rattan mats from Borneo, South American weaving problems, the Abegg Collection in Riggisberg, Quai Branly, Koos de Jong’s Dragon and Horse: Saddle Rugs and a feature on the upward trends of suzanis.

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Editorial: Museum-wide exhibitions in Denver and New York help reaffirm the value of textiles as bearers of cultural significance.

Dialogue: Cleveland Museum Islamic textiles;  SF Tribal Art; Parcours des Mondes in Paris; the R. L. Shep Award winner; Treffens and Thomas Wild. Also: an APG  letter; what’s new at www.hali.com.

Diary: Ten must-see events recommended by HALI.

Calendar: A selection of actions, exhibitions, fairs and conferences taking place this season.

Thread of time: Two centuries separate an English cotton handkerchief and an Afghan war rug, yet both tell of political turmoil and historical turning points.

Travellers’ tales: Christine Martens Are silk-weaving and wool felt-making continuing to thrive in Turkmenistan?

Profile: The metal hangings of West African artist El Anatsui have won him international renown.  Following the recent release of El Anatsui: Art and Life HALI discovers more about one of the most celebrated visual artists of our time.

Comment: Tom Cole Who are the Turkmen, and what are the origins of Turkmen culture? We may not know as much as we think we know.

Anatomy of an object: The Vanderbilt star-lattice carpet is about to return to auction. Delve below its dramatic surface to discover why it has previously broken saleroom records.


Out of diversity, uniqueness: Ben Evans 

Romain Zaleski’s singular collection of Anatolian village rugs is an illuminating study in the vernacular interpretation of masterpieces.

Doge Foscari’s ‘Holbein’ rug: Rosamond E. Mack

Investigating what may be the earliest pictorial representation of a sought-after type of classical Anatolian rug.

From the Karakum to Botany Bay: Christina Sumner 

Last year, Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum was made the beneficiary of a gift of more than 100 Turkmen rugs. An appreciative former curator shares her delight in this Yomut bonanza.

The methodical enthusiast: Aurélie Samuel 

The Musée Guimet in Paris has an exceptional Asian textile collection, thanks to the passion and precision of Madame  Krishna Riboud.

 Visions in rattan: Jeff Spurr 

The exquisite sophistication of rattan mats from Borneo lends insight into a sadly diminished  tradition.

Weaving with intent: Elena Phipps

The guest curator of an Andean textiles exhibition at UCLA’s Fowler Museum explains how South Americans long ago solved technical problems that still challenge today’s weavers.


Exhibition reviews 

‘The Pleasures of Collecting’ offers highlights from the Abegg Collection in Riggisberg; at Quai Branly, ‘Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange’.

Book reviews 

Hans König reads the first serious book on the saddle rugs and other trappings from Eurasia, Koos de Jong’s Dragon and Horse: Saddle Rugs and Other Horse Tack from China and Beyond.

Frank Ames considers the latest book covering textile holdings from the bountiful Tapi collection, Kashmir Shawls.

Market feature

Recent hammer prices show suzanis in the ascendant. This upward trend should inspire confidence in these textiles as an investment.


A report from Vienna where two auction houses – one old, one new, go head to head.

Auction price guide 

Reports from London, Philadelphia, Boston, Wiesbaden and New York.

Last page  

Rug recursive: Azeri designer Eldar Mikhailzadeh’s depiction of a carpet’s creation – on a carpet. Also: a preview of the next issue of HALI.

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