Cartouche – Definition

Cartouche – Definition

The decorative arts world has many “squishy” and vague vocabulary words, but few are “squishier” and vaguer than cartouche. Originally, the term comes from Egyptology and is used to describe a oval enclosing hieroglyphics and having a horizontal line at one end. (The line denotes royalty.) The oval had significance not unlike that of a closed circle, in that it was believed that an oval around a person’s name provided protection [...] Click here to continue reading.

Semans, Mary Duke Biddle Trent – Brunk Provenance Note 8-2013

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920 to 2012)

An American heiress and philanthropist, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great-granddaughter of tobacco industrialist and Duke University benefactor Washington Duke. She was born Mary Duke Biddle on February 21, 1920 to Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr. Her father was the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Spain.

Semans was raised in Manhattan, where she attended the Hewitt School in New [...] Click here to continue reading.

El Roy and Helene Master Collection -Provenance- Pook & Pook, 6-19-09

The Collection of El Roy and Helene Master

The offering of the antiques and collectables of El Roy P. and Helene Livingood Master comes with some degree of sadness. This collection has remained intact for five generations and it is hoped that others can now appreciate its beauty and fine craftsmanship.

Helen, Harry and Minnie Janssen

This legacy started with the arrival of Henry Janssen and Ferdinand Thun from Germany at the turn [...] Click here to continue reading.

Joval or Chuval – Oriental Rug Term

Joval – Definiation

A joval is a large Turkish storage bag, usually about three by six feet and was used to store clothing or bedding. One surface may be pile but may also be flatweave. The bag opens on the long side, and often only the pile face has remained usable. They are woven as pairs but used singly. Alternate spellings one might also see are chuval, juval, tschoval and other similar terms are [...] Click here to continue reading.

Yastik Oriental Rugs

Yastik – Definition

A yastik is a small Anatolian rug, cushion face or pillow, usually about three feet long by 6 inches wide.

Information courtesy of The Oriental Rug Lexicon by Peter F. Stone

Balischt – definition

Balischt – Definition

A balischt is a grain or storage bag whose secondary use was as a cushion to sit on or lean against. Over time its use as a cushion has superseded the original use.

Information courtesy of

Suzani – Central Asian Textile

Suzani Textile – Central Asian

Suzanis are embroidered and decorative tribal textiles made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries, usually silk embroidery on cotton panels that could then be sewn together. They were were used in homes as wall decoration, bed covers or rugs, and traditionally made by young women to be given to their groom on the wedding day as part of their dowry.

Reference note by p4A editorial staff, July 2011.

Tabriz Oriental Carpets

Tabriz Carpets

Of all Iranian city carpets Tabriz carpets are perhaps the most Persian. Tabriz has long been a major weaving center and has been dominated by Persian merchants. Only in the last 50 years has the Persian carpet trade shifted to Tehran. Tabriz carpets are made in all sizes from small mats and prayer rugs on up to some of the largest carpets made.

Carpet Construction

Size: All sizes made up to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Sarouk Oriental Carpets & Rugs

Sarouk Oriental Rugs & Carpets

It is often said people like the sort of rugs and carpets that their grandparents had. It often seems that here in the States most peoples’ grandparents had a Sarouk. In between WWI and WWII what we now call the American Sarouk became very popular.

Sarouk takes its name from a village in Arak, Iran, but it would be a mistake to assume most Sarouk carpets come from Arak. [...] Click here to continue reading.

Ralph Raby Collection – Provenance

The Ralph Raby Collection

Ralph Raby is a direct descendant of the Chicago retail shoe magnates George and Joseph Bullock. The Bullocks were typical upper-class Victorians, with a sophisticated eye for fine furniture, art and decorations who traveled extensively throughout Europe. The majority of the Raby collection was assembled by the brothers and their wives in the 1870′s and 1880′s.

Their travels and philosophy were described by Mr. Raby for a 1984 Chicago Tribune [...] Click here to continue reading.

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