Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Price Turkotek and the Mystery of the Tappet



Andrew Krawiec who I do not know posted:
Hi Rich and Phil, Here is one from the Spongobongo site at (Link to a page containing advertising deleted. Steve Price) which has the Saloresque guls of pretty much the same design as one of Phil's. But it also has those Barmak borders enclosing the end panels.



JBOC has a curious comment below the image, 'JBOC Notes: I have a thought that I am working on that the use of a Tappet guard border is an indication of a Persian origin.'. Does anyone know what he means by 'Tappet' and did he ever explore the idea that they indicate Persian origin further to anyone's knowledge?

It was listed for auction as Tekke around 1900.

Andy

Steve Price replied that “I have no idea what tappets are within the context of rug motifs.“ 
I am not really surprised. I got that from the late Charles Grant Ellis. CharlieEllis was the great Oriental Rug Expert of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Charlie used Tappet in the footnotes of one of his books. In Ellis’ work the text was pretty good but all the real meat was in the footnotes.

So tappet is just another term for the Barmak border. It is an old fashioned and fairly obscure expression but it was many years ago that I wrote that and it was what I was thinking at the time. Think of each finger of the Barmak as a tappet.

A tappet is the 5 sided or peaked element that is used like a row of tiny yurts to frame the field and as an inner guard border and so on. If you didn’t pay attention to Charlie Ellis’ footnotes you probably would not know that.  

As for barmak border indicating a Persian origin. I still have a suspicion that barmak is used frequently in Iranian Yomud weaving but it is not enough to be a useful attribution marker. 
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