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Oriental Rugs the O'Connell Guide

Turkish Rugs: Guide to Antique Kum kapi, Kumkapi, or Koum Kapi rugs

Turkish Rugs: Guide to Antique Kum kapi, Kumkapi, or Koum Kapi rugs

A Toussounian Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug circa 1910

Kum kapi, Kumkapi , or Koum Kapi rugs are fine to extremly fine rugs from Turkey made in the style of 16th century Persian rugs. The designs appear to come from rugs that were at some point in the Ottomen Imperial Treasury. The were produced from roughly 1900 onwards.

The rugs are are traced to Producers such as Toussounian and weavers such as Hagop Kapoudjian and Zareh Penyamin. The men behind the rugs were Turkish Armenans from Sivas and Kayseri. It was once assumed that these rugs were woven in the the Koum Kapisis (Gate of Sand) section of Istanbul. Now I suspect that these were woven in a variety of places but collected and or sold in Istanbul.

The most renowned producer of KumKapi rugs today is Avak Shirinian

Koum Kapi Rugs

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Zareh Penyamin Koum Kapi Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug circa 1910 lot 21

Kum Kapi Rugs: Avak Shirinian and Timo Sankilampi studying a KumKapi silk

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Abdullah Koum Kapi Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug circa 1920 lot 22

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Fine Silk and Metal Thread Koum Kapi Carpet c 1920 lot 20

Kum Kapi Rugs: The Kenneth S. Battye Antique Silk and Metal Thread Kum Kapi Rug circa 1900 lot 94

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Silk and Metal Thread Kum Kapi Garden Rug circa 1900 lot 82

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Silk and Metal Thread Kum Kapi Rug circa 1915 lot 95

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Kum Kapi silk and brocaded gilt and silver metal thread rug Lot 19

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Zareh Penyamin Koum Kapi Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug circa 1910 lot 21

Antique Toussounian Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug circa 1910

Toussounian is seen as a producer that commissioned rugs from a select group of the very best weavers. Red kilim ends with a white stripe running through it is the 'signature' of Toussounian rug. Especially interesting is the suggestion that Toussounian was a producer rather than a weaver.

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Toussounian Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug Early 20th lot 6

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Toussounian Silk and Metal Thread Prayer Rug circa 1910

Kum Kapi Rugs: Antique Silk and Metal Thread Kum Kapi Rug with Toussounian 'signature' early 20th c lot 94

Kum Kapi Rugs:Antique Toussounian Silk and Metal Thread Rug 1st Quarter 20th C lot 9

Pictorial Koum Kapi Rugs

Hagop Kapoudjian by George Farrow with Leonard Harrow

The book that defines the conventional wisdom on Kum Kapi rugs at this point is Hagop Kapoudjian by George Farrow with Leonard Harrow. It represents a shift in understanding from the understanding of even a few years earlier. One key point is the understanding of the difference between the weavers and the producers.

Hagop Kapoudjian 24 Rue Saint Lazare Paris 1932

Visit my Guide to Antique Turkish Rugs & Carpets by Oriental Rug Notes by Barry O'Connell, Spongobongoo.com

Antique Oriental Rugs the O'Connell Guide

Copyright Barry O'Connell 2004 - 2009.
Last revised: December 27, 2009.

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