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Rugs: index page

Why rugs?

There must be an index page for rugs, because I cannot deny that rugs interest me — and what came after this was a rather negative introduction to the rug obsession, which I have moved to a separate page (Rugs: old negative introduction)

I had lost interest in rugs for a number of years, having eventually sold the small pile in my room which I had to turn over frequently in fear of moths. So I was left with just a few rugs that fitted on the floor.

I remember talking to Ian Bennett on the train from Salisbury back towards Bath about rugs, his obsession, his Baluch collection while in charge of pottery at Sothebys, his Persian wife, their large flat, his loss of everything. I remember stories of splendid Chinese rugs that were ruined by the parties of Hollywood stars like Myrna Loy, and later bought back in tatters by the same dealer that once sold them in a perfect state. Of thrilling finds and acquisitions (Michael Franses cutting out a very old dragon rug fragment from what had been woven much later around it, straight at the floor of the rural auction house). Of the famous Sanguszko carpets. There was an entire world without bottom to discover. And for some weird reason I later even followed Ian in getting interested in watches instead of rugs. And I have no idea why all this is so important to me. By the time I wanted to return with a microphone, Ian had already died.

Recently, my interest in rugs has returned. Again I feel the thrill of searching for rugs that interest me (and the thrill of buying some.) I also still sometimes feel the numbness and dissatisfaction that I have described at length in the negative introduction.

I now think of picking up the habit of photographing and analysing the pieces I get (or that run though my hands) as I did years ago.


Baluch and Baluch-type

South-West and South Persian

Kurdish & North-West Persian

Hamadan area

Other Persian city and village rugs & carpets



Central Asian / Turkmen

Rug related texts


An obvious, if somewhat corny, title for a book on the madness of rug collecting would be "Confessions of a rug addict". The book would be written like a retrospective of a ruined life (in what way ruined is not so clear). Somehow the leading character would end up lonely, rejected by family and friends after squandering a large inheritance, living in squalid conditions. Most or all of the rugs would be gone - stolen, ruined by moths or a freak event or lost rather than sold. Perhaps the character would have retained one small tattered kurdish prayer rug on which he would also try to sleep.

Image quotation: hand of the ebay vendor at YAZDANPOUR PERSIAN CARPETS

Hand of the ebay vendor (possibly Roddy) touching the back of a 19th century Afshar rug (or rather, offering his hand as a scale) at YAZDANPOUR PERSIAN CARPETS. (Picture quotation from ebay / YAZDANPOUR PERSIAN CARPETS, ebay item number 7346436724, 28 Aug 2005)

Anatolian kurdish prayer rug, 19th century

My kids holding up an Anatolian Kurdish prayer rug to be photographed. It has quite obviously been used for a long time, so where the knees and feet go during prayer, there are bare spots (especially on the right side. I have no idea what might account for the asymmetrical wear). The intense colours and the soft wool are hard to describe. I especially like the way the square hooks adorning the white border that frames the mirhab are treated in the corners.

Last update: 22 November 2018 | Impressum