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Summer 2014 / Issue 180

Summer 2014
Issue 180

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A look at the Wher Collection, one of the world’s best private collection of carpets and textiles, the new Carpet Hall at the MAK, Vienna and Crosby's Ersari donation to the Ashmolean. We analyse a Nazca feather ‘apron’, look at the new space for Islamic art in Springfield, Massachusetts and highlights from a Bolivian Balandrán poncho collection.

Also featured: A Bamileke beadwork leopard skin, tribal art fairs, Native American art, the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul, Japanese Indigo in London, Karun Thakar and Turkmen embroidered asmalyks.

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Editorial: Reflections on the HALI UK Tour and the Wher collection, one of the world’s best private collection of carpets and textiles

Dialogue: A Bamileke beadwork leopard skin;  tribal art fairs in Amsterdam and Paris; Renaissance tapestries in Vilnius and at the Metropolitan Museum; ‘Masterpiece in Chelsea’; HALI Tours

Diary: A selection of international must-see events

Calendar: Highlighting the best auctions, exhibitions, fairs and conferences taking place this season

Thread of time: Lettering was designed to convey information. However, script found on a textile may have nothing specific to say, or might be telling us something we should not necessarily believe

Travellers’ tales Colin Wilde The author reports on current activities in the bazaars of Iran, including Tehran and Shiraz

Profile Theodore Mast Every so often a character emerges in the rug world whose ideas influence a generation. George Jevremovic is such a figure, with a life that embraces rug-making, auctions, outsider art and now Afghan Peace rugs

Comment Brian David The arrival of the ‘Gothenburg Shroud’ in Lima is the first stage in a painstaking process of repatriation for the Paracas textiles held in Sweden since the 1930s

Anatomy of an object Alberto Boralevi An examination of a Sardinian kilim central to important local funeral rites


A flight of fancy The Carpet Hall at the Austrian Museum for Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna has recently reopened. It presents the wonderful permanent collection, including the world-famous Habsburg Imperial holdings of classical carpets, in an entirely new light

Chain of consequences Simon Crosby A gift of £100 enabled the author to begin collecting Turkmen rugs. Now he has donated a group of Ersari rugs to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, including some of the oldest examples of truly nomadic carpets we know

Riddles within an exquisite enigma James Reid A Nazca feather ‘apron’ has the power to mesmerise and mystify in equal measure.  Its combination of long and short feathers, its subtle colour harmonies and a range of possible functions all pose their own questions

View from the summit Alberto Boralevi & Ben Evans Woven masterpieces linked to the Wher Collection, in honour of the late Dr Marino Dall’Oglio, top Italian collector of his generation

Cultural confluence Jill D’Alessandro San Francisco’s de Young Museum celebrates the Weisel Family Gift of Native American art

A new vision Kendra Weisbin A new space for Islamic art opens in Springfield, Massachusetts.  The guest curator tells of the challenges involved in reinstalling the Smith Collection of oriental rugs and other objects

Aymara Style Parry Mead Murray, Khristaan D. Villela,  & William Siegal  Highlights from the Bolivian Balandrán poncho collection of Giles W. Mead, former director of the LA County Natural History Museum


Exhibition reviews 

‘Distant Neighbour, Close Memories: 600 years of Turkish-Polish Relations’ at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul

‘Threads of Life: Japanese Indigo Patched Textiles’ presented by Gordon Reece and Philippe Boudin at Somerset House in London

‘Oriental Rugs from the Gerard Paquin Collection’ at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

‘The Power of Images: The National Museum of Ethnology Collection’ at the National Art Center, Tokyo

‘Wangden Style’, an exhibition of Tibetan rugs arranged by Sam Coad in Bristol

Book reviews 

The first book in a planned series based on the textile collections of Karun Thakar – Indian Textiles by John Guy, Rosemary Crill & Karun Thakar – is reviewed by Sonia Ashmore.

Titles Received includes a selection of more recent publications, among them Arts & Crafts of the Islamic Lands: Principles, Materials, Practice by Khaled Azzam, and Patterns of Magnificence: Tradition and Reinvention in Greek Women’s Costume by Ioanna Papantoniou

Market report 

Daniel Shaffer and Penny Oakly re-examine the market history of Turkmen embroidered asmalyks, after recent renewed interest has resulted in record prices

Auction price guide 

Focusing mainly on Sotheby’s New York’s superb January 2014 sale of ‘Carpets & Textiles from Distinguished Collections’, Austria Auction Company’s second outing in Vienna on 15 March 2014, and Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams Spring Islamic week rug and textile results; with selected Turkmen highlights from Rippon Boswell’s May sale

Last page  

For ten days in mid-June, participants from around the world on the HALI tour enjoyed curated visits to some of the most important rugs and textiles in public and private holdings across England and Scotland

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