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Essay:  A Kilim is more than we think


Antique Kilims of Anatolia by Peter Davies

"The Tribal Eye:  Antique Kilims of Anatolia"

By Peter Davies

Published in 2000 by WW Norton Professional Books

ISBN 0-8478-1705-9

A new hardcover edition, expanded to 189 pages, with 30 additional color plates, two new chapters, and updates and expansions of chapters from the Rizzoli edition. And including a new glossary and the ethnographic photos of Anatoian tribal and village life by Josephine Powell.

To Order

Press Comments:

Murray Eiland, Jr.
"...this edition makes a valiant effort to tell the whole story as to what kilims mean to those who live with them. Antique Kilims of Anatolia emerges as more than a basic introduction to the Turkish kilim as the most convincing and profound account of what there is about these tribal weavings that has seized the imagination of so many enthusiasts."

Dr. Michael Buddeberg:
"Davies not only breaks new ground in his cogent discussions of the kilim but he also reveals his love for Anatolia,its people, and its exceptional kilims. This gives Antique Kilims of Anatolia its special character."

Valerie Justin:
"All together, Mr. Davies has put together a cogent story, perhaps the whole story as it can be known at this time. He might be one of the unravelers of the remaining illusory threads of kilim lore. I urge him on."

Table of Contents:

Forewords by Murray L. Eiland, Jr. and Dr. Michael Buddeberg

  1. From Fleece to Yarn
  2. Dyeing:  The Lost Process
  3. The Loom
  4. The Weave
  5. The Visual Language of the Anatolian Kilim
  6. The Tribal Weaver
  7. The Meaning of the Kilim
  8. The Origins of the Kilim:  A Survey of Current Thinking
  9. The Horn and the Hexagon
  10. Towards an "Ethno-aesthetics for the Anatolian Kilim

Technical Analysis

To Order:

The book is available from fine booksellers or directly from the author. To receive an autographed copy of the book from the author:-

Please send your name, full address and a check or money order payable to Peter Davies for
$55 plus shipping
($2.55 shipping within the U.S. / $10.00 overseas):

Peter Davies
125 Cedar St., Penthouse
New York, NY  10006

Allow 2 weeks for delivery. 
Queries can also be addressed to


The Tribal Eye

By Peter Davies

Published by Rizzoli International in 1993 in paperback.

It contains 8 chapters covering everything from the processes involved in kilim production, the visual language of the kilim, the tribal weaver, the meaning of the kilim, and the origins of the kilim as well as over 50 color plates and ethnographic photos by Josephine Powell. Very favorably reviewed in Hali Magazine, Ghereh, and Cornucopia.

Signed copies are available from the author for $15 plus postage: $3.50 (now out of print, formerly retailed for $35)


Other Publications on Kilims & Rugs:

Series of articles as "Foreign Correspondent for Kilims," Rug News, New York City, 1978-84

Peter Davies, The Tribal Eye: Antique Kilims of Anatolia, Rizzoli, New York, 1993.
A new book replaced this edition: Peter Davies, Antique Kilims of Anatolia, WW Norton, New York and London, 2000.

Peter Davies, "Book Review Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies IV," Oriental Rug Review, vol. 14, 1993 no. 1, pp. 26-28.

Peter Davies, "The Origins of the Kilim: A Survey of Current Thinking," Oriental Rug Review (, vol. XIII, no. 3, 1993 pp. 32-37.

Peter Davies, "The Magic Carpet Syndrome" a series of seven articles, Rug News May 1997 through March 1998.  See

Peter Davies, "Know Your Onions: Series on Dyes", a series of 6 articles. Rug News, Spring/Summer 1998. See

Peter Davies, "It's Antique", a series from summer 1999 to January 2000. Rug News.

Peter Davies, "Exploring the Anatolian Rug Culture". Rug News, February 2000, vol.21, no.5. See

Peter Davies, "Contemporary Rug Weaving in Anatolia". Rug News, April 2000, vol. 21, no.7. See

Peter Davies, "The Weaving Life: Social & Economic Obligations". Rug News, May 2000, vol. 21, no. 8. See

Peter Davies, "Inside Weaving Cultures: The Mind Behind the Loom". Rug News, June 2000, vol. 21, no.9. See

Peter Davies, "A Tribal Aesthetic Revealed". Rug News, July 2000, vol. 21, no. 10. See

Peter Davies, "A Weaver's Personal Aesthetic". Rug News, August 2000, vol. 21, no. 11. See

Peter Davies, "Main Text, Subtext, and Creativity". Rug News, September 2000, vol. 21, no. 12. See

Peter Davies, "Carbon Dating: Force for Good or Evil". Rug News, October 2000, vol. 22, no. 1. See

Peter Davies, "The Many Ways to Antiquty: Kult Kelims". Rug News, November 2000, vol. 22, no. 2. See

Peter Davies, "Manhatten & Its Vertical Rug Souk". Rug News, February 2001, vol. 22, no. 5. See

Most recent citations:

"Dream Weavings: The Fabled Rugs of Turkey," Dana Micucci, Art & Antiques, November 1997, pp. 52-59.

Metropolis Magazine, December, 1999 "Looming Disaster?", Matt Steinglass, pp. 76-79 and 106-111.