130 Cecil Malone Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850 
 

JULY 2023

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Welcome to Our Monthly Newsletter

 

This month's topics are:  


RUGS


  • Oriental Rugs-Types and Formats


  • Contemporary & Collectible Rugs for the Oriental Rugs Consumer


MISCELLANEOUS


  • The Stars and Stripes Forever


  • Gladys West


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We have a variety of rugs available to view on our website or come into our office! 

ORIENTAL RUGS-

TYPES and FORMATS


Oriental Rugs-Types and Formats attempts to classify oriental rugs into some easily recognizable categories for the beginning collector.


Even though oriental rugs do not fit easily into one or another category, it is hoped these particular categories will help oriental rug enthusiasts to better understand these rugs and their history and whet the appetite for a continuing study of this fascinating subject.


CAVEAT!!


Looking at the design or colors of rugs is not enough information to identify them correctly. The construction, including the type of knot, fibers used, types of dyes, etc. are all essential to determining the actual identification of an oriental rug.


It is a well-known fact that the study of oriental rugs invariably leads to the realization that there is never a ‘never’ and never an ‘always!’


Examples of types and formats of oriental rugs found here and in this article on our website are only meant to stimulate your interest in oriental rugs.

ORIENTAL RUG TYPES


Tribal or Nomadic Rugs


These rugs are typically woven by nomadic people living in portable homes. They are usually smaller pieces woven on horizontal looms for easy transport. They usually contain a limited number of colors and patterns and are usually oddly shaped and coarsely woven. The designs tend to be geometric.


Wool is the most common material, but horsehair and camelhair are sometimes used occasionally for the edge and end finishing. Silk can be used at times, but only in a few knots and in limited areas.


Examples of tribal rugs are Baluchi and Turkoman.

Village Rugs


Village rugs are those woven by people living in agricultural communities. These people have more materials available to them as well as permanent looms which are usually vertical looms (although many villages continue to use horizontal looms as well). The warps (up and down cords) of these rugs are usually cotton with the wefts (side to side cords) made of either wool or cotton.


Village rugs are woven in utilitarian sizes, are occasionally misshapen, and usually colorful. The quality of the weave will vary depending on the skill level of the at-home weaver. The patterns are more curvilinear than tribal rugs but still quite geometric.


Examples of village rugs: Hamadan and Heriz.


City Rugs


These are rugs usually woven in commercial establishments by skilled craftspeople on permanent looms. The spinning, dyeing, designing, weaving, and finishing are all done here. A foreman will be in charge to oversee the speed and quality of the weaving being produced.


The rugs are typically intended for export, and they come in various 'American' sizes. The warps and wefts are usually cotton.


City rugs are fine in quality and fancy in design. Examples of these rugs are Tabriz and Kerman.


Palace Rugs


Please continue reading here for information on palace rugs, runners, and utilitarian rugs, as well as classification of oriental rugs by age.

In This Issue


Consignment Rugs for Sale - New rugs added Regularly


Oriental Rugs-Types and Formats


Contemporary and Collectible Rugs for the Oriental Rugs Consumer


The Stars and Stripes Forever



Gladys West


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CONTEMPORARY and COLLECTIBLE RUGS

for the ORIENTAL RUGS COLLECTOR


It may be surprising to see the words 'contemporary' and 'collectible' in the same sentence with 'oriental rugs!' Today, it seems that sub-standard weaving from many different countries, featuring cheap reproductions of popular designs using synthetic dyes, are flooding the market. It is good to know that consumers wishing to purchase oriental rugs do have viable options for excellent quality contemporary and collectible rugs.


There are several examples of weaving enterprises, most in operation today, that are indeed producing both contemporary and collectible rugs. A few are mentioned below:

THE DOBAG PROJECT


The Dobag Project (Dogal Boya Arsatirm ve Gelistirn Projesi) was a Turkish enterprise which stands for the Natural Dye Research and Development Project, established in 1981 in Northwestern Turkey through the research and efforts of German chemist and rug scholar, Dr. Harold Bohmer.


The rugs were woven with natural, vibrant vegetable dye methods and were never treated with any chemical or aging treatment. Although they used traditional designs, the weaver was the one who chose the combination of motifs and colors.


Each rug is registered, and the number is recorded on an attached leather tag. This tag contains the size, knot count, and names of the weaver and her village, and guarantees the quality of the rug.


Sadly, the DOBAG project is no longer in operation as of June 2021. The people are in a much better position financially to send their children off to higher levels of education and young people are no longer interested in a career in weaving. If you are interested in purchasing one or more of these rugs, you may contact Peter Linden, a collector of DOBAG rugs in Dublin, Ireland. His website can be found at peterlinden.com/dobag.


AZERI RUGS and WOVEN LEGENDS


George Jevremovic, founder of Philadelphia-based Woven Legends, organized Azeri rug production in Eastern Turkey in 1982. Weavers of Azeri rugs borrowed designs from other weaving areas and combined them with Turkish motifs. Sometimes this combination could be a bit unusual though they are and were very popular.


The quality of the rugs is comparable to the DOBAG rugs, and like the DOBAG, only natural dyes were used, and no chemical or aging treatments were allowed. Azeri rugs are no longer being woven but have evolved into a number of other beautifully woven rugs produced today by Woven Legends.


Since 2011, these excellent contemporary rugs equal to carpets made centuries ago, are being woven by young Syrian refugees in Turkish refugee camps through the Anka project, begun by Turkish-born Neslihan Jevremovic. Her rug store can be found at: Woven Legends, 8140 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118, 215-849-8344, and at www.wovenlegends.com.


GANGCHEN (SNOWLAND) TIBETAN RUGS


In the late 1980s, American-educated Kesang Tashi, along with his partner, George Doubleday, started rug manufacturing in Lhasa, Tibet in order to revitalize the Tibetan rug industry in its own homeland (after weavers were forced to find refuge in Nepal during the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959). 


The production is called Innerasia Trading. The Tibetan wool for these rugs is hand-spun and colored with both natural and high-quality Swiss synthetic dyes.


The combination of excellent wool from Tibetan highland sheep and the availability of both male and female weavers using traditional rug motifs that were not being produced elsewhere make these rugs highly collectible. 

Innerasia Rugs can be found and purchased at innerasiarugs.com.


AFGHAN RUG PROJECT


Please continue reading here to learn about the Afghan Rug Project. Our website has information about many different types and styles of oriental and contemporary rugs. Please click here for more information.

THE STARS and STRIPES FOREVER


The Stars and Stripes Forever is a patriotic march written by John Philip Sousa. It was first performed at Willow Grove Park, just outside Philadelphia, on May 14, 1897, and was immediately greeted with great enthusiasm. 


By a 1987 act of Congress, The Stars and Stripes Forever became the official National March of the United States of America. It is a giant, jubilant march, with stirring lyrics. (For fun, we can substitute the original lyrics for a duck song! See below.)


If you are older, you may not have heard it for a while. If you are younger, you may never have heard it. Either way, on July 4th, find The Stars and Stripes Forever and listen. You won’t be able to sit still, and you won’t be able to get it out of your head for some time to come!


JOHN PHILIP SOUSA


John Philip Sousa was a Marine, a musician, and a bandleader. On Christmas day in 1896, he was returning to the United States from a vacation in Italy. While standing on the deck of an ocean liner, he heard the march playing in his head!


He wrote in his autobiography, 'Marching Along,' that he suddenly began to sense the rhythmic beat of a band playing within his brain. The distinct melody of the march kept on playing in his head with the same themes echoing and re-echoing.


Amazingly, John Philip Sousa did not transfer a single note of that music to paper while on the steamer. When he reached shore, he set down the measures his brain-band had been playing for him and he never changed a note of it!


THE STARS and STRIPES FOREVER MARCH


The march is scored for an orchestra consisting of two flutes, a piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, bass drum, snare drum, glockenspiel, and strings.


The song repeats distinct melodies in sections, called strains, using different instruments to repeat and lead. Performances vary according to the arrangements of individual band directors or orchestrators, especially regarding tempo and the number and sequence of strains employed, as well as the number and type of instruments used.


The march begins with a hearty introduction by the horns with great smashing beats on drums, followed by the melody. Woodwinds repeat, and later, the response of the piccolo. The trombones thunder in with a bold counter melody. Then, the entire band plays together -- and, by then, we're all marching!


THE STARS and STRIPES FOREVER - STRANGE FACT...


A strange fact about The Stars and Stripes Forever is that shows such as circuses in the early 20th century loved to fire up the crowd with march music, but they did not play The Stars and Stripes Forever march.


The Stars and Stripes Forever was called ‘the Disaster March,’ used as a secret signal and only played when a life-threatening disaster was imminent, particularly in show business, in the theater, and the circus. It was used as a subtle notification to allow emergency personnel to organize the exit of an audience with minimum chaos or panic during an impending disaster such as a fire.

WHERE YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD

THE STARS and STRIPES FOREVER BEFORE


There have been many adaptations and renditions of The Stars and Stripes Forever. Here are just a few examples:    


Please continue reading here for examples, as well as the original lyrics, the parody lyrics (Be kind to your small person friends (web-footed friends, fine feathered friends), as well as a performance by John Philip Sousa and his band from 1929 and a thrilling performance by Vladimir Horowitz of his transcription of the march for solo piano from 1948 (celebrating his American citizenship).

GLADYS WEST


When you hear the name Gladys West, GPS Technology (Global Positioning System) should immediately come to mind. But have you even heard of Gladys West?


If you ever catch a road trip movie from the 70s or 80s, you might see folks juggling with maps or asking for directions. But today, there's an app for that. Cars, planes, and even trains all rely on GPS. Have you ever wondered where it came from?


In part, it came from Gladys West, one of the chief architects of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Here is her story...


Gladys Mae Brown West was born in 1930 in a rural county south of Richmond, Virginia to an African American farming family in a community of sharecroppers. Coming into the world amid the Great Depression, and an African American in a segregated nation, you might not think her work could help change the world. But it did!


GLADYS WEST - EARLY CHILDHOOD and EDUCATION


During her childhood, Gladys spent summers helping on her family’s small farm. Her mother worked on the farm as well and in a tobacco factory, and her father worked for the railroad.


When school was in session, it was a three-mile walk for Gladys, both ways, each day. She was happy to be in school because even at an early age, she could see her education as her ticket to prosperity.


After years of studying, she graduated as valedictorian from her high school in 1948, and earned a scholarship to Virginia State College, a historically black public university, where she majored in mathematics. Math usually was the most studied subject by men at her college. She graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1952.


After teaching math and science for two years in Waverly, Virginia, she returned to VSU to graduate in 1955 with a Master of Mathematics degree. After graduation, Gladys began another teaching position in Martinsville, Virginia.


GLADYS WEST - CAREER LEADING TO GPS TECHNOLOGY


In 1956, Gladys West was hired as a programmer at a Virginia naval base in Dahlgren, Virginia where she was the second black woman ever hired and one of only four black employees. Gladys was hired as a computer programmer and a project manager for processing systems for satellite data analysis. During this time, she also earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma.


In the early 1960s, West began to analyze data from NASA’s Geodetic Earth Orbiting program, to create models of the Earth’s shape. Her work cut her team’s processing time in half, and she received a commendation.


Toiling long hours, West contributed to space exploration and later programmed the IBM 7030 Stretch computer to build an accurate geodetic Earth model. In order to generate this model, West needed to use complex algorithms to account for variations in the gravitational, tidal, and other forces that distort the Earth’s shape. This work laid the foundation for the Global Positioning System (GPS) that helps the modern world go round.


West worked at the Dahlgren naval base for 42 years and retired in 1998. She later completed a doctorate degree in Public Administration at Virginia Tech through long-distance learning.


GLADYS WEST and RACISM


Please continue reading here to find out how racism in the US affected her in her work and her personal life, as well as the honors she received in later years.

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