Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
For years I’ve eyed Shekarlu rugs.
Their identity is highly evolved and very striking!
Very rustic in character the rugs are filled with an extravagant number of minor motif
elements all randomly strewn across the field.
This randomness appeals to me because through that lack of order, I see the absolute freedom the artist enjoyed!
But a moment later when I step back a bit, at another level I can also some order and an overall balance in her creation & her universe.
The contrast and the combination of chaos and balance is simply irresistible to me!
Shekarlu rugs are a small subset of rugs from the Qashqai tribe of South West Persia. The central medallion that looks like a crab is one of the unique signatures of the Qashqai.
The Shekarlu subset have some other unique characteristics.
Most Shekarlu rugs have the following border:
(These characteristics are usually sufficient but not necessary conditions to identify the origin of the rug. So some may have none of these motifs or medallions and yet be from that group. However, if these signs are present then the attribution is almost always correct)
As these were made within the home for self-consumption within homes, antique shekarlus are not as abundantly available as workshop rugs.
And account of their rarity and popularity amongst collectors, they are also a bit of a burden on the bank!
So for years I just eyed them and waited sighing. Naturally the waiting was not a voluntary choice – it was forced upon me!
Then one day (awhile ago) along came one that had the most beautiful green medallion!
And delicious yellow centre!
For one who is already smitten by Qashqai signature motifs in the medallions, the detail inside the golden medallion filled my heart with love and awe!
At the auction I made an offer for the amount I could afford – as a token of worship – knowing fully well that this rug would attract the attentions of many wealthy suitors.
But …something inexplicable happened: my bid won!
Maybe the others didn’t see the girls in the rug? Maybe it rained that day? Maybe the internet didn’t work?
Maybe no one saw the story that lies in that change of border at the bottom – the mystery of that unusual change – the imagined reasons behind the change – did the daughter take over – why….!
Or maybe this is beautiful to me alone and nobody else?
The last explanation suited me perfectly ……for, the outcome is that this is mine and mine alone to love and cherish 🙂
And so now this piece – this object of my worship – one that I feel like I’ve waited for for a long long time, is finally home!
Had I known while waiting that this is what I’d be waiting for, I’d have been willing to wait a few more years for it!
Bless the woman or women who created this!