As our knowledge of the weavers of Istanbul who were based in the Koum Kapi district grows, so does our ability to attribute rugs to certain weavers. One such is Avedis Tamishjian. This master weaver is known to have worked for the merchant Nuh'negi, having set up his workshop in the 1920s (Bensoussan, P.: 'Turkish Workshop Carpets', HALI 26, April/May/June 1985, pp.34-41, esp.p.38). Further work has enabled George Farrow to identify his signature, worked in the same way as Zareh Penyamin, in silk within a small area of metal-thread (Farrow, G.F.: 'Irrelevant Rubbish', letter in HALI 55, February 1991, p.83). The rug he refers to was sold in these Rooms 11 October 1990, lot 13, where the signature, illustrated inverted, is just about legible in the centre of the rug.
Since Tamishjian set up later than Zareh Penyamin, for him to have woven a rug with the design for which Zareh became best known must have been seen as competitive! It is not surprising then that in this rug the weaver has not only taken Zareh's design, but has made sure that the quality of this piece will stand out when placed next to one by Zareh. The quality of weave is certainly not as fine as that which Zareh achieved in some of his finest pieces, for example one sold in these Rooms 10 October 1991, lot 306. But it is the richness of colour and some of the little details of drawing which make this rug such a success. The border yellow is a magnificent colour, somehow richer than the tone used by Zareh. And a particularly nice touch is the way the leafy scrolling tendrils are allowed to trail elements over the inscriptions in the upper border rather than having the inscription cut through them as it does on the Zareh versions. The cartoon used for the rugs may well have been one also used by Zareh, but the lettering in the upper inscription panel has been rewritten. It is appropriate that he should have paid particular attention to this; it has been translated as "even this will pass away".