The DOBAG project was started in 1981 by Dr Harald Bohmer, a German teacher based in Istanbul - see separate page on the now defunct DOBAG project on this website. The project has now ceased to exist, the co-ops in both Yunt Dag and Ayvacik engaged in the more lucrative production of tomatoes and onions, with generous subsidies from the Turkish state. The most recent info I have is that 2 weavers still make rugs in Ayvacik and possibly a couple in the Yunt Dag but they are sold to local dealers who subject them to damaging chemical "antique wash" treatments to make them saleable to gullible tourists. Those of us involved from the beginning of the DOBAG project always knew it would have a limited life cycle and end up being an important part of carpet history.
The current DOBAG stock includes 3 pieces originally purchased from the old Blackrock gallery around 15 years ago, as well as a magnificent oversize DOBAG carpet woven in 1995, all in perfect condition. Updated 22/6/2022.
A lovely DOBAG rug woven at the height of the DOBAG project before its gradual demise began around 2012. Today virtually no rugs are woven other than for traditional dowry and family purposes, the existing old examples being chased by a growing number of enthusiasts worldwide.
In perfect condition throughout, complete with its original label and paperwork, no wear, repair or damages. Signed F.A., Y for Yunt Dag, dated 2002. You can read more about the piece by clicking Recent Acquisitions and scroll down.
The village of Erecek was one of the most active DOBAG villages surrounding Ayvacik town. The favoured Erecek design was the arrow motifs known locally as "oklu" (arrows), a design that has distant links to early Turkoman rug traditions (ref Dr Harald Bohmer, founder of the project). Usually they were woven on madder red ground framed by an ivory border.
Unfortunately this DOBAG was sourced from outside the DOBAG project and hence the weaver's name or specific date are unavailable - she did sign it R.B. but with the project now closed down we will never know her full details. Still it has the Erecek village symbol in the upper kilim plus remains of the lead seal that held the original leather label. In perfect condition throughout, virtually unused and set to go for generations of floor exposure.
A striking 25 yr old DOBAG with the powerful "akbas" (white head) field design, signed A.E. and dated 95. In perfect condition throughout with original ends and sides, no wear or repair. For further info on this piece click on Recent Acquisitions and scroll down.
A beautiful rug with the distinctive "vazo selvi" (cypress vase) design, cleverly drawn by the weaver, leaving a lot of open space to good effect. The warm colours, all natural, are beginning to show the attractive lines known as "abrash", created by time as the different wool batches always have a slight variance of colour strength.
In perfect condition throughout, signed and dated by the weaver.
This beautiful prayer rug was acquired from the owner last year, originally a DOBAG collection of some 10 pieces purchased from our Blackrock gallery over a period of 30 years. All of them were in excellent condition with original documentation, having been either hung on the wall or kept in safe storage.
As weaving in the DOBAG villages has now ceased and the project closed down the few old examples in perfect condition that resurface are now rarities, much sought after by DOBAG enthusiasts worldwide.
This prayer rug is signed A.E. and dated 1988, in original condition throughout, free of wear or repairs.
This beautiful rug, also from the recently acquired private collection, features the "Lotus" design, known and memorised (with endless variations) by only a handful of weavers from the now defunct DOBAG project.
In perfect condition throughout, signed and dated 2007 by the weaver, the original label present. Only 14 years old the natural colours are beginning to glow, the pile developing a sheen over the years which will only get better over time.
I have a vivid recollection of buying this rug. The weaver Gulseren Kus was half way through the rug on her loom which was located on the first floor, her cow and a few sheep living downstairs. One look at the quality of weave and above all the inspired play with colours as seen in the borders and secondary field motifs, made the decision easy. This is what the earlier DOBAG pieces were about, later examples often being more planned and sterile.
Now 21-22 years old, having been carefully minded by its first owners, it has acquired a sheen and softness of the colours that only time, and gentle use, can bring about.
In perfect condition throughout, original side cords and end kilims complete and intact, no repairs. Signed G.K. A real collector's piece and set to last for at least another generation of floor wear.
This magnificent, oversize DOBAG carpet was commissioned for an Irish dining room in 1994 and it has recently found its way back to me. It took a team of 4 experienced weavers, all members of the DOBAG project, over a year to complete, holding in excess of 1 million hand tied knots.
Hardly used, the carpet is in excellent original condition throughout with no wear or repairs. Since 1995 it has acquired a bit of patina with a sheen from the wool pile that will only get better the more it's used. DOBAG is now defunct and so this is a unique treasure that can never be recreated - it is also one of the largest DOBAGs we ever handled. It comes complete with its original certificate and DOBAG label.
More images available on request. The carpet has now been professionally cleaned after photography and the wool and colours now have a rich sheen.