More Oriental Rug Notes by Barry O'Connell

Persian Rugs: Guide to Touserkan Rugs


Persian Rugs: Guide to Touserkan Rugs

Antique Tuisarkhan Hamadan Village Rug

Touserkan Rugs

At the risk of being provocative I have some questions about the origins of Touserkan rugs. Who are these people where do they come from? They appear in the Hamadan region in the 19th century. There is no evidence that they were there earlier. Maybe they were or maybe they moved from somewhere else. I propose that these people may actually be a sub-group of the Lesghian called the Tsakhur of the Derbent/Dagestan region.

I am sure some of you are thinking that is preposterous but let me explain. Peter the Great moved the Don Cossack to the Terek river in the 1720s. In 1735 the Russians made their administrative headquarters at Qidhlar south of the Terek River. In this period other Cossack units were moved south and they applied pressure on the Moslems of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Derbend.

Czarist Russian took Derbent in 1796 and it was formally ceded to the Czar in 1813. This was war, brutal war that uprooted families and entire villages. The Russians used brutality as a weapon to subjugate the region. Add to this that It was a Muslim region and the Russians were Christian. Initially the Russians moved Cossacks south to prey on the villages of the Khanate of Derbend.

So it is historically accepted as fact that many Moslems moved south into Persia. But to where? Not all of the refugees could move to the Mount Sabalan region many must have moved further south. Additionally the Moslem population was not a unified block. Based on the research of Dr. Moshe Gammer we know that in 1830 there was a significant population of Tsakhur in the area of Dagestan in-between Kurakh and Zaqatala, In between 1830 and 1865 this area was in the midst of Shamil's uprising. After that period the Tsakhur were a widely dispersed minority in Dagestan. Suffice it to say they moved south. They are still a prescence in Azerbaijan today.

The rugs of Touserkan and the rugs of the Tabassaran a group closely akin to the Tsakhur hold stylistic affinities. Touserkan rugs are single wefted. I remember one morning at one of his Textile Museum lectures Harold Keshishian showing me a Dagestan rug that was also single wefted. We know that many Moslems of the Caucasus moved south into Iran. Their descendents are somewhere in Iran today. Hamadan is more likely than most. .

A Woolley and Wallis auction discription written while Ian Bennett was associated with the house noted a strong yellow in a Hamadan type rug is indicative of Touserkan and Jozan rugs.

Touserkan Rugs use the Hamadan Rug Weave

Single weft is called "Sennah Baft" or Hamadan weave. Here the wefts are rigid and the warps are sinuous. As you can see in the sketch the wefts are heavier than the warps. It is woven with symmetrical knots. Since there is only one shot of weft between each row of knots this shows every other warp which makes these rugs easy to spot.

To try

www.PersianCarpetGuide.com

Persian Rugs/

Persian Rugs
Persian Carpets

Turkmen Rugs/Turkmen Rugs

Baluch Rugs

Uzbek Rugs

Books

Caucasian Rugs

Caucasian Rugs

Turkish Rugs/Turkish Rugs

People

Discussion

New York Times Article

Greek Rugs

The Hazara

Islamic Art

Kirghis Rugs

The Pazyryk Carpet

McMullan on the Pazaryk

Moroccan Carpets

Rugs of Palestine

Rugs and Textiles

Major Rug Sites

Notes on the Shaykh Lutfallah Mosque

Time and Links

Guide to the Best Rug Societies

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Alabama

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Arizona

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of California

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Colorado

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Delaware

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Florida

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Georgia

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Hawaii

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Illinois

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Indiana

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Kansas

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Kentucky

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Maryland

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Massachusetts

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of Missouri

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of New Hampshire

Guide to the Best Carpet Dealers of New Jersey