The DOBAG project is a unique chapter in carpet history, started by Dr Harald Boehmer in 1981. Over recent years weaving has gradually ceased, prices have (justifiably) risen and my main search now is for the best of old examples from DOBAG. Harald Boehmer sadly passed away in 2017 and the family recently offered me his personal DOBAG collection, picked over a period of 30 years, They have now arrived and will gradually be posted on this listing. Most pieces were carefully stored, only a small number used in Dr Boehmer's Istanbul apartment. They are all in excellent, almost unused, condition throughout. The pieces are listed in order of size beginning with the smallest, ending in runners. Updated 4/3/2019.
Koru is a very small village near Orselli in the Yunt Dag but has gained the reputation for weaving the highest quality DOBAG rugs in the whole co-operative. This pretty little yastik is a good example, woven by Fatma Ozyilmaz, signed F.O. and dated 1999.
A charming little yastik (seating rug, bag) woven by the same weaver who made Lot # 9042. Clearly her favourite design, this rug may seem simple enough but the almost curvilinear design is considerably harder to memorise than more basic, angular patterns. Signed S.K., dated 2002, unused.
This yellow ground yastik has a center medallion sometimes used in large rugs in an allover diagonal arrangement but here the weaver decided to leave it with a once off small feature piece. Signed S.K., dated 2000.
Yastik locally means "small bag" although most of the pieces once woven in DOBAG were mainly the knotted pile front half, not including the traditional flatwoven back. Nice decorative pieces, each of them different, yastiks can be used on floors, hang on walls, be placed on furniture. In the Orient, such small pieces were often kept in chests and strewn around the seating area for visitors and family to sit on. This cute yastik is S.A., dated 2002.
A most unusual DOBAG, I'm not aware ever seeing one before, with four large birds (good luck symbol) surrounded by numerous scatter ornaments. No doubt picked by Harald in part because of its rarity but also due to his favourite colour combination of camomile yellow, sky blue and deep purple. Dated 2001, signed D.C. In unused, perfect condition.
This rendition of diagonal stars enclosed by octagons is most unusual, not one I have come across before. The weaver, Kadriye Deneri, was one of the very best weavers in the co-op, always present in my walks around Orselli. Beautifully signed in the top left octagon, 99 K.D. Unused and totally original.
A very pretty little prayer rug, plain and simple with powerful colours which will improve considerably with exposure to daylight. This rug has never been used, just kept in storage since Harald put it aside. Signed and dated by the weaver.
This is a curious one, of a very rare size and also a very quirky design. The main border motifs are sometimes referred to locally as "knife point", a symbol of defence to ward off evil. Signed S.U. and dated 2001. In unused, perfect condition.
This rug is a striking, charming piece, illustrating the uniqueness of each DOBAG rug, all of which were woven from memory. The quirky borders tell a tale how the weaver was trying to figure it all out and, happily, ended up in a quirky compromise solution. Signed S U, dated 2006, in unused condition.
Whereas some Yunt Dag rugs are evocative and quirky, others like this one are elegant and beautifully composed. Drawn for memory, this weaver had the artistic ability to work with design and harmony of colour to the point where the immediate impression is most satisfying. She has also added a most unusual knotted end border in the kilims, suggesting that this rug might have been for a special purpose, possibly a wedding gift or dowry. Signed S. C., dated 2000.
This design is known locally as "vazo selvi" (cypress vase), often with a dark blue field contrasting beautifully with the lighter centre and borders. A quirky and charming rug with funky border, the weaver has hidden the date in the top left corner, and signed it P.Y. Thick wool pile, unused, this rug is set to last for generations to come.
One of the first DOBAG designs was a diagonal arrangement of stars, notably from this village. I have never seen a prayer rug of this design but Harald Boehmer spotted this one in 1984, attracted not only by its rarity but also by its charming spontaneity of drawing. It has been in use in the Istanbul apartment (no shoes allowed..) and has therefore acquired a most beautiful patina and softening of colour that only time can create. In perfect condition.
These strong, large octagonal motifs were seen in west Anatolian village (and nomadic) rugs going back several centuries, clearly linked to the former presence of Turkoman tribes in the region. This example clearly attracted Harald Boehmer because of its most unusual play with motifs and colours in the border, in stark contrast to the sterile, predictable and poor quality tourist rugs still woven in this part of Turkey. Never used, this rug will last for generations and gradually lighten, soften and develop an attractive patina, such as seen in 19th Caucasian or Anatolian rugs. Signed R.S.
We have no precise date on this rug but it's clear from the muted colours and very slight surface wear it must have been from the early Yunt Dag period. Only a few families wove prayer rugs and they were strong favourites of ours in the days of the Blackrock gallery. This is a beauty with great drawing, colour and a rare border arrangement, signed only with an E.
A great rug with beautiful colours and loads of character, this piece was one of Harald's favourites, housed in the Istanbul apartment (where no shoes were allowed). You can spend a long time enjoying its quirky spontaneity and village charm, something entirely lost in all other contemporary Oriental rug weaving. Over the 30 years the colours have mellowed beautifully, the rug now echoing the great Anatolian pieces of 18th and 19th centuries. The weaver Cenet Deneri was for years the head of the Yunt Dag DOBAG co-operative, a fantastic woman, great weaver and good friend.
This almost 30 year old DOBAG rug has been in daily use since it was purchased by its first owners. It remains in perfect condition, now much improved after a state-of-the-art cleaning. For further info on this piece, click Recent Acquisitions, and scroll down.
This unusual DOBAG rug features a design known locally as "altin Tabak" (golden plate), based on the idea of a traditional meal with serving dishes placed around the centre. It's a text book example of the perfect, natural colours dyed in DOBAG, identical to those used in centuries gone by. Over time, they will mellow and blend into a range of colours you only find in 19th C Caucasian and Anatolian village rugs. Signed S Y by the weaver Seher Yavuz, in perfect, original condition, hardly used since set aside.
A rock solid DOBAG example with thick, lustrous pile and dense knotting. The offset rows of traditional "oklu" motifs is charmingly lifted by heart and butterfly motifs, signed E.Y. and dated 2007. In perfect condition having been well looked after for 10 years by its first caretaker, now lifted to perfection after a professional wash adding glow and patina to the wonderful quality wool.
A highly decorative 30 year old DOBAG rug of a very useful, and rare, size. The design is highly reminiscent of Turkoman "Bokhara" carpets, yet this style of Anatolian weaving was known from the 16th C. The painter Hans Holbein so often used these rugs in his work that the local DOBAG weavers came to know it as "Holbein".
The rug has been lovingly cared for by its first owners, hence its near perfect condition, with the added glow and patination that good DOBAGs acquire with age. Signed S.C.K.
I think this rug was one of Harald's favourites - he loved the combination of deep purple and camomile yellow, echoing a popular colour choice in very early Anatolian rugs. It was also made by one of the best weaving families in DOBAG whose home I have visited with Harald on many occasions, often booking half finished rugs still on the loom. Like all DOBAGs, this is a unique piece, all drawn from memory, a team effort by proud women working from their family home. Signed R.Y., V.Y., dated 89. Unused, this rug will bring pleasure (and future value) to its next owner-care taker for generations to come.
This wonderful rug features the so called Holbein design, after rugs of this design painted by Hans Holbein in the 17th C as backdrop decoration. This was always one of Harald Boehmer's favourite DOBAG rugs, only a couple of families knowing it off by heart (with endless variations). This example also feature one of the most powerful borders, plus a number of weaver signatures in the upper half of the field, incl the date 1988. In unused condition, stored away until the next caretaker came along.. This rug will last for several generations to come even given daily use on the floor, it is that good.
A lovely rug, with a style of design that might suit especially well in a contemporary setting with its strong, yet uncluttered, angular style. Although almost unused, the colours have softened beautifully. The light patches are merely caused by poor daylight reflections. A very decorative rug of a great, much sought after size, set to last for several generations.
A lovely runner from the Boehmers' Istanbul apartment where it lived for as long as I can remember. Karagomlek was a leading source of runner formats during the heyday of DOBAG and this is an early, beautifully drawn, example. Full of spontaneity, the weaver played around with the colours and sequences, giving the piece plenty of character and charm. The most recent DOBAGs have gone increasingly stiff and predictable, making the good old pieces much more desirable. Worth noting is how the colours have matured and softened over the years, only to become more obvious when it has been given a proper clean. Signed G.Y., in excellent condition throughout.
This field motif is known locally as "oklu" (with arrows), one of the oldest Anatolian village rug designs with several museum pieces dating back to the 17th C. It works particularly well in runner formats and this example is one of the best, and finest, I have come across. Beautifully drawn with great colours including beautiful yellows and greens now softened with age. SIgned G.T., dated 1998, in excellent condition.
This is a superb, and rare, example of Yunt Dag DOBAGs from the peak of the project. The idea of dividing the field in sections of different colours usually works very well but this example has the added bonus of what is clearly a human (male) figure standing beside the signature. There are also two elks, or deer, at the opposite short end. This goes against the code that forbids representation of human and detailed animal figures, a unique exception in fact, which must have been why Harald Boehmer put it aside for his own collection. Dated 2001, signed H.D., unused but in need of cleaning, to be done shortly.