Monday, July 26, 2010

My flying carpet experience

I was walking down King George Street in central Jerusalem yesterday, minding my own business (well . . . as much as any photo-blogger can).
While passing, I glanced into the open door of the tall monumental Hechal Shlomo building, place of a Jewish museum and of many Jewish organization offices.

I did a double-take; couldn't believe my eyes; rushed inside!

There were Persian carpets everywhere, hundreds of them!

Suspended from the railings,

strewn on the stairs,

slung on benches,

and sometimes even stacked ten-high on the floor!
I climbed three storeys, taking pictures of gorgeous handmade and Persian carpets on each floor.
No one was around. No one to ask what this was.
Finally I found a flyer announcing that the 324 carpets would go on auction July 29.
Estimated values went from a few hundred to over 10,000 shekels.
You can click on the groups of numbers at the auctioneer's website and see each individual numbered carpet and a brief description of it. (Ironically, for blogger Sarah, who has showed us so many Persian carpets in their and her native country, this website may be the only way to see them because all our blog photos are being filtered there.)
Everything is from the collection of Eli Sasson Carpets, located in Herzlia.
Eli Sassoon was born in Isfahan. He immigrated to Israel in 1963 and carried on the carpet business has family had begun in Iran.
In his beautiful brochure he describes a carpet as "the clothing worn by a place."
I was intriqued by the many motifs and ancient symbols used in these carpets.
You can see them at his website.
This cute Tabriz round carpet, only one meter across, struck my fancy.
Maybe because it was the only round one I stepped across.
Not that I could ever buy a Persian carpet . . .
But the surprise discovery of this treasure of artistic tradition was enough to make me feel like I was being transported--on a flying carpet!
Luckily this was my world this week for That's My World Tuesday.


Petrea said...

I love this post! "The clothing worn by a place," how charming. And knowing this post has Sarah in its heart warms my heart, too.

Kay said...

This reminds me of the carpet shop we saw in Turkey. The workmanship that goes into producing these carpets is just amazing. It must have been so much fun to see all this.

Rob and Mandy said...

They're so beautiful! Just thinking about the gigsntic work involved to doing just one, those millions of knots!

Carol said...

Beautiful! I love all the patterns and colors.

noel said...


this was a very look at some of these carpets, it looks like they can just take off, thanks for sharing it.

help me decide on a photo from my plant fanatic blog, if you don't mind?

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

Just shows how we should always have our camera with us - what a great find.

one planet said...

I love carpets so tks for sending
in Hamburg at the oldhabor are lots carpets orientel shops

L. D. Burgus said...

Don't you just love it when it just happens and you get to see something like this. It is so wonderful. I bet they raise a lot of money. They are all so beautiful.

Dimple said...

What a treasure trove of carpets! Thanks for sharing them. The little round one is beautiful.

Hilda said...

What a treasure trove you discovered, Dina! Amazing craftsmanship.

Sarah said...

Great post! I saw the website and it was Stirring Dina. So much happy to know there are Persian Carpets in your country too.
Thanks for thinking of me. You are always in my mind and heart even when I can't see your blog because of filtering!

Marites said...

so beautiful. It's really admirable that people can come up with such intricate and beautifully done designs. Such craftmanship! have a nice week!

VP said...

I can imagine the moment you saw this... What a great surprise view and you took a really nice set of pictures. Love the benches and they are in a so strange setting I had to post at least one of them!

Reader Wil said...

What a great discovery you made by entering this building!

Reader Wil said...

About the train on my blog I can say that I just read that the train was empty except for four Italian men who were supposed to service the train. The train was driven at a very high speed. The Italians probably didn't know how to handle this train.

Suzanne said...

What fun Dina. They are beautiful and I loved your descriptions of how they were displayed. The only sad fact is that you couldn't buy one. Save up those shekels for your next magic carpet ride.

Ann said...

You did bid for any? That round one?LOL

Dina said...

Hi everyone, thanks for sharing your enthusiasm!

Suzanne and Ann, no, no bidding or buying for me. The less I own the happier I am.

JM said...

That is a great collection! Every time I visited muslim countries I've always enjoyed going to a shop and watch the 'rug show' while having some apple tea. :-)

Jew Wishes said...

What beautiful captures!

The craft is timeless, with workmanship of so much effort and fortitude.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I can't read it (the link). I've got around seven of these carpets. I inherited them from an Aunt. Darn, the big one is getting thread bare.

Eki said...

Look at those carpets! Beautiful designs!

Francisca said...

I love good surprises, and my surprise today was to share in yours. What a wonderful "My World" post.

tapirgal said...

It's always wonderful seeing these carpets. One can feel rich with design and experience even when we can't buy them :) I loved your story.

Sarah said... I can see the photos because of the VNP that I installed on my pc!!!
Great photos Dina!