ZAREH ACHDJIAN writes
Studies of Armenian rugs and carpets received a negative evolution with Viken Sassouni in 1978. Sassooni was a charming person. Unfortunately he was not really knowledgeable with antique rugs and antique Armenian rugs and textiles. So, to protect himself to do mistakes, he limited his study to rugs and carpets with Armenian Inscription. Thinking to do well, I told him, he was wrong. Still, he beleived he was doing rigth. In fact, to day with years, it was the opposite which he made. The Turkish and pro-turkish scholars reject most of rugs from Ottoman Empire and from the Caucasus, as Armenian, if there is not an inscription.
As a former guest-member of Armenian Rug Society, my father, Berdj Achdjian, told me that he told Viken Sassouni several times that it was not the right way to approach the question of Armenian rugs. Inscriptions were only a part of the general scientific approach. Pollen studies, technical analysis, scientific comparaison of motifs, etc … were more important than only inscriptions and which are somtimes faked. Still Viken Sassouni kept on going his position. So today, rugs and carpets are fully considered Armenian only if they have an inscription with Armenian letters.
Why does this criteria apply only for Armenian rugs and carpets ? Why ?
Why a rug without any inscription might be Balouchi, Tekke, Yomud, and why not a rug without inscription might not be fully Armenian?
Considering that in any auction catalog or book on rugs, inscribed rugs or carpets are a minority, less than 2 %, it is sure that Armenian rugs with inscription are minority in a minority.
Even, if we consider only inscribed Armenian rugs and carpets, is the fact that there is an inscription a guarantee of its Armenian origin?
Most of rugs and carpets which have been exhibited in the last San Francisco Tribal and Textile Fair, had a fake armenian inscription and if they were rejected by the vetting commitee, they reappeared on the booth of their owner. Some clever Turkish or Syrian repairmen used and still use to add an inscription to sale these rugs to Armenian buyers who are most of times not really well informed about technique. Who is able to see and understand it ? Only very few specialists !
What about early carpets ?
Except the Kohar ou Gohar carpet which has an inscription in Armenian, very few others carpets or rugs have an Armenian inscription.
We can add, and in any others languages as Persian or Turk … So what are we supposed to do ? Eliminate Armenian origin thesis ? This mistake made Turkish historians the winners due to Viken Sasooni’s wrong position of approaching the question.
More, as most of pieces with Armenian inscription are late (second half of 19th century or early 20th century, no none should be astonished that these rugs and carpets do not interest the “great collectors”. Never great collectors as Marino Dall Oglio, or others of this level have bougth piece of this low level. Without aesthetical or ethnographical interest, these rugs are
This way to think must stop ! Armenian rugs did not started to exist with the first Armenian rug with inscription.
Armenian rugs or carpets and textiles did not started to exist with the Gohar carpet. This is a real mistake of knowledge.
The most dangerous persons for antique Armenian rugs and textiles are not turks or azeris who are NOT talking about Armenian rugs and textiles, and keep them unknown but the Armenians who do not know about antique textiles and rugs and who pretend to be knowledgeable.
Usage partiel à des fins pédagogiques autorisé à condition de citer le nom de l’auteur et la source. Zareh Achdjian +33 6 66 66 14 88