Recent Studies on the ‘Transylvanian’ Group of Anatolian rugs

Stefano Ionescu

Thursday, March 30, 2017


The Coffee House Club

Mr. Ionescu is an independent scholar of Oriental carpets, he has dedicated almost twenty years to the study of Anatolian rugs, starting with those that survived in Transylvania. This region continues to be the repository of the richest and best-preserved group of small Turkish carpets outside the Islamic world. With nearly four hundred examples attributable to the 16th to 18th centuries, the golden period of Ottoman weaving.

In order to prove the Anatolian origin and to explain the presence of these rugs in Transylvania, Mr. Ionescu published “Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania.” This book includes the entire collection of rugs in the Black Church along with the important examples from collections inside and outside Romania. The book was awarded the Romanian Academy prize for “History of Art,” a very rare event in rug literature.

“Recent Studies on the ‘Transylvanian’ Group”

Among 17th century Anatolian rugs this distinctive group is the largest and best researched. After fifteen years of study there is now a clear picture of the group.

The lecture will cover the origin of the design of early single-niche Transylvanian rugs and explore a fascinating new theory of how it came about in relation to Ottoman stained glass windows. Some of these windows can be seen in Ottoman buildings, created by the famous architect Sinan.

Next, how the double-niche format evolved from single-niche rugs in relation to the Edict of Kütahya issued in 1610 under the rule of Sultan Ahmed I.

A full classification of the group, based on a study of over three hundred and sixty examples will be presented. Showing that there is a correlation between design and dating, that is supported by paintings and inscriptions. Making it possible to date pieces within a quarter of a century.
Finally, examining two other groups of Transylvanian rugs, the “Plain-Niche” and “Coupled-Columns,” by using examples from churches in Transylvania and museums in both Turkey and the US.

Stefano Ionescu’s lecture is made possible through the support
of the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York

Carpets for Kings: Six Masterpieces of Iranian Weaving

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Metropolitan Museum of Art

This exhibition will feature six small Iranian carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries that have recently been conserved by the Department of Textile Conservation.

Exploring Tibetan Weavings

Nicholas Wright

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Coffee House Club

With the aid of examples, Hajji member Nicholas H. Wright will illuminate challenges in researching Tibetan weavings, including provenance within Tibet, dating weavings, and dyestuffs.

Brooklyn Museum

Monday, May 15, 2017

Brooklyn Museum

Curators will arrange a showing of carpets and textiles from storage especially for the Hajji Baba Club.

Qashqa’i Warp-Faced Weavings

Fred Mushkat

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Coffee House Club
Rescheduled from January 19, 2017

The Qashqa’i confederacy is the largest group of nomadic pastoralists in Southwest Iran.  The Qashqa’i are famous for their prolific output of pile rugs, bags and weft-faced gelims.  Little attention has been paid to their warp-faced weavings that were utilitarian and were not woven for commerce.  These textiles include bands used to carry loads on pack animals during migration, decorative animal bands, covers for various uses and numerous types of containers.  The structure and use of these weavings are the focus of the lecture.  Examples of Qashqa’i warp-faced weavings will be shown and the audience is invited to bring in examples.

Fred Mushkat graduated from The Ohio State University in 1972 with a B.S in Computer Science Engineering.  He received an M.D degree from Ohio State in 1976.  After a residency at the University of Cincinnati, he has been a practicing emergency physician since 1979.  His interest in textiles began in 1977 when he began going to yard sales and finding an occasional Oriental rug.  Like many people at that time, he became interested in “ethnographic” textiles and focused on non-commercial weavings made by nomads.  Warp-faced weavings had these qualities and had been largely ignored by the trade.  He began collecting bands in 1986. He published articles on warp-faced bands in HALI 84 in 1996 and HALI 188 in 2016.  In 2001, he curated an exhibition of warp-faced bands from Iran at the American Conference of Oriental Rugs (ACOR) in 2001.  Two of the other exhibits from that Indianapolis ACOR have been published with his photographs.  His photographs also appear in HALI 189.  He is in the final stages of completing a book on these textiles, to be published in 2017 by HALI publications.

Hajji Baba Club Annual Meeting Nomination and Election of Board Members.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Open discussion of future programs for the HBC and extended Show and Tell.