Two new catalogues of Italian collections have been received by rugsofwar. The first, the collection of Amadeo Vittorio Bedini, in Milan, illustrates 28 war rugs. The text is in Italian, and together with Bedini the author Christen Ungennant illustrates the sources of many of the militaria elements in the carpets. The collection is mostly representative of fine examples of the second generation of war rugs (late 1980s and 1990s). We’re awaiting a translation before we can comment on the text. Vittorio assures me the AK47 on the cover illustration is a model!
The second is a wide ranging collection of textiles from the later decades of the 20th century, with 16 examples of war rugs illustrated and discussed (in both Italian and English) by the co-curator/editor/author (and perhaps collector) Erino Mascelloni, from Rome. The catalogue accompanies an exhibition that was held in Todi at the Sala delle Pietre e Monastero delle Lucrezie from December 2006 to February 2007. It’s not clear from the text from which collections these works are drawn, although all the discussions of the texts for war rugs are by Enrico Mascelloni, in a section titled “Asian Modernism”. The author makes a number of claims for an earlier time frame for “war rugs” than accepted by other scholars and collectors, or evidence available to us. He dates some of his “war rugs” back to the 1960s, in one case a rug (purchased in 2006) by interpreting an explicit date woven in the rug (1368/1989 or 1990) by the Turkish calendar! Many of the war rugs have similarly optimistic dates. I will review the text and some of its claims more comprehensively in a later post. The catalogue is published by Skira.