Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tekke Main Carpet

Object Name:
early 19th century
Attributed to Turkmenistan, Central Asia
Wool (warp), wool (weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
H. 110 in. (279.4 cm) W. 72 1/2 in. (184.2 cm)
Credit Line:
The James F. Ballard Collection, Gift of James F. Ballard, 1922
Accession Number:
Not on view
Large rectangular carpets such as this one, the most important and expensive weavings created by every Turkmen tribe, are referred to as ‘main carpets.’ They were the primary floor covering used in Turkmen tents, and were decorated with the main gul, the most important symbol used for each tribe. The nomadic Turkmen of Central Asia are renowned for their technically skilled and visually dramatic weaving. This carpet can be attributed to the Tekke subgroup of the Turkmen nomads based on the specific form of the gul motifs, which are unique to each tribal unit. The skill of the Turkmen weavers can be seen in the expertly conceived and meticulously executed design of this carpet.
James F. Ballard, St. Louis, MO (until 1922; gifted to MMA)
Asia Society. "Peasant and Nomadic Rugs of Asia," 1961, no. 25.

Breck, Joseph, and Frances Morris. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art." In The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1923. no. 103, p. 52, ill. (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. Peasant and Nomad Rugs of Asia. New York: Asia House Gallery, 1961. no. 25, pp. 69, 80, ill. p. 69 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 183, pp. 287, 291, ill. fig. 246 (b/w).

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