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London Hosts Sale of Antique Carpets & Textiles.

Stock markets may be down and concern about where the Middle East is headed, given the Sharon government's ruthlessness, is rising. But some things never change, and one of those is the timeless quality and enduring attraction of the work of the region's craftsmen, women and, in some cases, children. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of carpets and textiles from countries as far afield as Turkey and Persia, Morocco and the Caucasus.

Visitors to London, as well as those resident in the British capital, will have a chance this month to see some of the world's finest, as the fourth annual Hali Antique Carpet and Textile Art Fair gets under way in mid-June at the city's grand exhibition hall and conference centre at Olympia. With a name derived from the Turkish word for carpet and sponsored by Hali, the internationally famed magazine of carpets, textiles and Islamic art, the fair this year is bigger than ever.

Some 90 dealers -- 20 per cent more than last year -- will be exhibiting their collections from 14 to 18 June. They include such illustrious names as Michael Franses of The Textile Gallery and John Eskenazi from London, Michael and Raphael Kelaty from Middlesex in the UK, Nader and Mohtashem from Milan, Ziya Bozoglu from Perugia, Adil Besim from Vienna, Mohammed Tehrani and the Galerie Schahrsad from Hamburg, the Maison Sadraee from Brussels and Hassan and Iwan Maktabi from Beirut, as well as Hagop Manoyan from New York.

More than 6,000 people are expected to attend the five-day event, coming from places as far away as the Far East, South America and South Africa, Europe and the US, as well as the Middle East. The treasures on display include examples of virtually all the woven arts, from classical oriental carpets, tribal and village rugs, ethnic embroideries, wall hangings, camel and horse trappings, textile bags, tent decorations and costumes from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia to European tapestries, exotic silks from Asia, bed coverings and traditional hats. Vetting has been done on artistic grounds, reports Sebastian Ghandchi, publisher of Hall, enabling visitors to buy with confidence.

Although most of the items date from before the 20th century, prices range from a few hundred pounds to more than 200,000 [pounds sterling]. Ghandchi is also putting the finishing touches to a special exhibition to be held at the fair entitled `Turkish Carpets and Textiles before 1800 -- Masterpieces on the Market'. The Textile Gallery's Star Ushak carpet, designed on a red ground with a striking and intricate overall pattern of interlocking stars, is just one example. It dates from the 16th century and was produced in western Anatolia.

Those with more modern tastes are likely to find the 20th century carpets and rugs from Morocco and Tunisia especially attractive. Interest in these is rising rapidly, Ghandchi reports, given their strong colours and simple designs ... perfect for hanging on a wall in a contemporary loft or apartment.
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Comment:London Hosts Sale of Antique Carpets & Textiles.
Author:Smith, Pamela Ann
Publication:The Middle East
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Jun 1, 2001
Previous Article:MOORISH MEMORIES.

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