Rug of the Week

Tekke Turkmen Ensi

Middle 19th Century

How can an antique Tekke Ensi be special? There must be a zillion of them (or more). But this not your grandfather’s Tekke Ensi. In fact, this rug is at a whole ‘another level. Take a good look and follow our list of special points. And these are not the only differentiating features. The more you look, the more you see. Our list includes:

  1. The rare extra vertical panels repeating the main border design in the field quarters.
  2. The apparently unique addition of horizontal bands in the same pattern above and below the central crossbar.
  3. The unusual “bulls eye” spandrel panels which are more in the Yomud style than the (very usual) Tekke manner.
  4. The extremely fine weave of around 220 knots per square inch.
  5. The extremely wide jewel tone color palette including pale yellow, burnt apricot, two reds (blood red and warm madder), two cochineals, three blues (including an exceptional midnight), dark brown, dark green, ivory, brown; generally way wider than the usual six color Ensis.
  6. The points on the central three vertical columns in section of the central axis.
  7. Dots edging the stylized flower heads in the border.
  8. The quincunx details in the top border.
  9. The unusual triple lozenge fillers in the “mihrab” between the spandrels.

Probably a whole lot more of subtle details. This rug was not a commercial production, churned out ad seriatim by unrelenting Tekke women weavers. The woman who wove it was a true artist and the patron was someone of taste.  Their identities are obviously lost, but their contribution remains. This rug is a true labour of love.

The Ensi was supposedly used as a door rug on the Turk men round felt tent or yurt. Some examples still retain hanging ropes in the top corners, but our does not, and it is slightly taller than the usual antique examples, Bigger rug, bigger door, bigger tent, more important person. Some local big shot from around Merv just across from the Persian border who wanted the best. The work is exacting, the result truly collectible. There are other antique Tekke ensis, some older, some more archaic in design, but we have yet to find a similar gesamtkunstwerke


About Rahmanan Antique & Decorative Rugs

Rahmanan deals with the sales and service of antique rugs, tapestries, and kilims. Inventory includes, but is not limited to, Turkish, Persian, Indian, Chinese, Mongolian, Moroccan, European, Caucasian, American, and Navajo pieces. We also have antique quilts.
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