Saturday, January 31, 2009

Antique Farahan Rug

We received an antique large Farhan (Ferehan) rug from a customer for repair. The size is 18 x 14 and the design is Herati, an old version of today's fish (mahi) design. It is used under a very big and heavy dinning table and the heavy chairs damage the rug which is very thin and vulnerable. The foundation of this magnificient Persian carpet is cotton and the pile is wool. The knots are asymmetrical and it is double-wefted.

Khosrow Sobhe

Rug Books

Dennis B. Marquand is a rug enthusiast who lives and works in Culver City, Los Angeles. He has a wonderful collection of rug books. He is an active and long standing member of Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, TMASC.

On his web site, you can find information and the price quotations on the books he carries. He attends many rug shows around the country and participoates in some of them to present his books which are on rugs, kilims, tapestries, suzanis, textiles and related subjects.

Khosrow Sobhe


South Persian Tribal Weavings

Ann Nicholas & Richard Blumenthal

Two independent researchers and collectors from Boston

We had a wonderful program today in our textile and rug society, Textile Museum Associates of Southern California.

Lur, Qashqai, and Afshar weavers make beautiful pile rugs and flat-weaves in south Persia. Many of these woven items are small, colorful utilitarian bags and trappings that are extremely charming and collectible. Ann Nicholas and Richard Blumenthal shared their enthusiasm for these weavings, which they have collected for twenty years. They began researching the historical and ethnographic literature, interviewing people who had experience with the South Persian nomads, and searching for photographs of nomadic life showing weavings in use. They found thousands of photographs, many unpublished, in rare and out of print books, university and museum archives, and personal collections of ethnographers. This work confirms many ideas about nomadic weavings; however, some commonly-held notions need to be re-examined, especially those about piled saddlebags. Now the Blumenthals have two collections: small south Persian tribal weavings, and pictures of their nomadic life. Their talk illustrated pieces from both collections, and reviewed south Persian nomadic life with emphasis on nomadic weavings, and then covered the conditions in 19th century Persia that fostered the weaving of piled saddlebags.

Ann Nicholas and Richard Blumenthal are long standing members of the New England Rug Society. Ann has written several articles for its newsletter and exhibition reviews for HALI magazine. Their collection of small south Persian tribal weavings was exhibited at ACOR 8, where they gave a focus lecture on the south Persian nomadic life and weavings. Recently they have given talks to several rug societies and published two articles in HALI, “South Persian Tribal Weavings: Their Use in Nomadic Life” (HALI 150, 2007,) and “The Mystery Unraveled: Knotted-pile Saddlebags” (HALI 151, 2007.) .

The participants asked many questions and commented on different points raised in the lecture. We ran out of time and Cheri Hunter, the past president and current program chair stopped the question-answer and wanted to move on to show & tell. Ann and Richard had brought some of their small south Persian weavings to this well received presentation. Few members ofTMA/SC also had brought examples from their own collections for show & tell section at the end of the presentation which was held at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, Community Hall, located in Grand View Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90066. The program started at 10:00 am with refreshments followed by the lecture, Q & A, show and tell. It ended at roughly 1:00 pm.

Khosrow Sobhe


Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Word of Thanks to Ellen Amirkhan and Aaron Groseclose, Instructors of the Rug Course

Ellen Amirkhan
Aaron Groseclose

Dear Ellen and Aaron,

It is Sunday morning and I am home in Los Angeles. The CRS intensive course has ended, but what is left is a backpack of rug knowledge, insight, vision, good memories and of course finding seven other good friends with mutual interests. Couple of these young friends in their 20s, were really sharp and rug enthusiasts with bright future.

We all had a wonderful time there in your great place. Please thank Suzan, and Armen for their support, help and hospitality. Please do not forget to thank your personnel and colleagues for making it possible for us to see more rugs and learn more about each piece and type.

It was also a great pleasure to meet your dad Mirza Amirkhan in person. He has been an assest and live treasure to the industry. God bless him.

It was you and Arron who provided this opportunity for all of us to learn and enjoy. When I look back, this past week looks like a beautiful journey and a pleasant dream to remember for ever.

I will separately write in more details to Restoration Industry Association RIA to tell them how much we learned and enjoyed in this one-of-kind rug learning experience.

Truly yours,
Khosrow Sobhe
Los Angeles

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Certfied Rug Specialists, Exam Results

All of us (eight participants) took the written and rug identification test today at 9:00 am and finished by 12:00 pm. Seven participants passed and one student who was very sharp and confident failed. He can retake the class and the tests two years from now when the advanced class will be held.

It is almost 11:00 pm and I am back home in Los Angeles. I will write more on this learning experience and professional journey later when I have time and will post many pictures.

Khosrow Sobhe

Certified Rug Specialist Class in Dallas, Texas Day 6, Final Day

Today is the day 6 and the last day of our Certified Rug Specialist course. We are supposed to be in the class at 9:00 am to take the test which has two parts, the written part comprising 50 questions from the 400-pages book and from the topics covered in the class. Then there is a Rug-ID part in which we should identify 50 marked rugs. The passing grade for each part is 80 out of 100 which is equal to B!

If someone passes the written test let's say he gets 85 but do not pass the Rug-ID part and gets 75, he fails the class. The score of two parts are separately taken into account and do not combine.

All 8 of us will return to our home towns later this afternoon. We have people from all over the country. Two from Los Angeles (me and James), one from Monetrey , North California (Barry), one from New Jersey (Orlando), one from Philadelphia (Kevin), one from New York (Jim), one from Arizona Rick), and a lady from Alabama (Shellia). I am the only rug dealer in the class. The rest are rug cleaners and one of them is a rug cleaner as well as a dealer.

We will have 10 months to submit a rug project which should deal with one aspect of rug industry. We should chose the topic and the committee should approve the topic. After this project is done and approved, we receive our certificate and become Certified Rug Specialist.

Khosrow Sobhe

Certified Rug Specialist Class in Dallas, Texas Day 5

On the 5th day of our Certified Rug Specialist class, we had 25 rugs from different regions of Iran and also from other countries to identify. The range of identifying the rugs was from missing 2 to 8. I missed 3 rugs. There was on small Qaradjeh and I thought it was a Heriz rug. There was a very small 2 x 3 Farahan Sarouk tightly woven which I thought it was Bidjar. And there was a very old Afshar rug thatI missed and thought it was a Caucasian Shirwan rug wool on wool. It was fun and informative.

There is a participant who has been sent to our class by his company. He is so worried about passing the exam on the last day. He say my boss said if you fail the class, don't come to work; just kep flying!

Ellen Amirkhan and Aaron Groseclose then reveiwed all the rugs with the students to see why the identifying some pieces was not properly done.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Certified Rug Specialist Class in Dallas, Texas Day 4

Today was Thursday and the 4th day of Certified Rug Specialist class held by Restoration Industry Association in Dallas, Texas. Instructors Ellen Amirkhan and Aaron Groseclose talked about non-Iranian rugs such as Indian rugs, Pakistani rugs, Chinese rugs, Afghan rugs, Turkish rugs and few other types of rugs. Many samples from these rugs were shown to the class and their characteristics were explained.

Ellen talked in length about hos we should appraise a rug. Legal issues as well as technical issues should be taken into account.

We went to the hotel few minutes after 5:00 pm. We had started the class at 8:00 am and everybody was tired. Kevin did not want to joint us, but the rest of the kids (!) seven of us went to a nearby BBQ restaurant for diner. After that, Barry and I went to a shop on our way to the hotel and bought few small gifts for the family members. I got home, studied the rug material for a while, posted a brief story and went to bed around 11:00 pm.

Khosrow Sobhe