"Moroccan Carpets," by Prosper Ricard, Honorary Director of Morrocan (sic) Arts

"Moroccan Carpets," by Prosper Ricard, Honorary Director of Morrocan (sic) Arts

Our first book, "Moroccan Carpets," was originally published in the 1920s, and is called Corpus des Tapis Morocains in the original French. "Moroccan Carpets," is the first significant work on the subject (at least available in a Western language). Although it comes off paternalistic in sections—it was published by the French Protectorate with the intention of selling Moroccan rugs in France—"Moroccan Carpets" is energetically written, has lots of info about the tribes and terroirs of Morocco, and Ricard has an obvious love of the rugs. It is a very rare book that I paid $100 dollars for, and has a glaring typo right on the cover. I love it.

 "Moroccan Carpets," by Brooke Pickering, W. Russell Pickering, Ralph S. Yohe 1994

"Moroccan Carpets," by Brooke Pickering, W. Russell Pickering, Ralph S. Yohe 1994

Another aptly named book about Moroccan Carpets, "Moroccan Carpets" is a comprehensive book written by the Pickering-Yohe team, who traveled extensively in Morocco and amassed an incredible collection of Moroccan rugs. This book is filled with photos, illustrations and maps, and is Moroccan rug porn of the highest quality. They own the domain www.moroccanrugs.com, which occasionally this web broker guy tries to sell me; the best price he's offered so far is $6000 USD... should I go for it? My SEO guy tells me having an exact domain name isn't as important as it used to be, but it'd still be pretty cool to have www.moroccanrugs.com.

 "From Sign to Image: The Moroccan Carpet," by Abdelkebir Khatibi and Ali Amahan, 1994

"From Sign to Image: The Moroccan Carpet," by Abdelkebir Khatibi and Ali Amahan, 1994

Finally, a book about Moroccan carpets by Moroccans. This is a highbrow book with lots of poetry, essays, and aesthetic interpretation of the carpets. It's less commercial in nature than the other books, and because the authors had the full co-operation of the Moroccan Department of National Heritage, there are photographs of the best rugs from all the great Moroccan museums. The back section has the Tifinagh alphabet, a glossary of terms, and an overview of the rug-making process. This was another tough one to find; I ordered mine from Amazon, and it looks like it came from a library in England.

 "Ait Bou Ichaouen: Weavings of a Nomadic Berber Tribe," Alfred H. and Suzanne S. Saulniers, 2002

"Ait Bou Ichaouen: Weavings of a Nomadic Berber Tribe," Alfred H. and Suzanne S. Saulniers, 2002

A scholarly work by another husband/wife team who lived in Morocco for a long time and got addicted to collecting Moroccan rugs. We can relate. The Ait Bou Ichaouen are a very isolated tribe whose weavings were basically unknown to the rug world until 1997, if the book is to be believed. They are among my favourite rugs from Morocco because they are colourful, and unlike anything else. This book is exhaustive (one author is an economist, the other a rural sociologist), but never boring. It has tons of pictures of rugs, charts, economic data relating to the herd sizes of sheep over the years...ok, so maybe it is a little boring, but if you find yourself drifting off while reading it, just turn to some of the pictures of these alien, conceived-with-no-outside-influence rugs, and you will wake right up.

 "MAROKKANISCHE TEPPICHE UND DIE KUNST DER MODERNE," Florian Hufnagl and Jürgen Adam

"MAROKKANISCHE TEPPICHE UND DIE KUNST DER MODERNE," Florian Hufnagl and Jürgen Adam

Moroccan Rugs and Modern Art, in English. This is a really fun book that stems from an exhibit at the Munich International Design museum. Architect Jürgen Adam has a really bitchin' collection of Moroccan rugs and, like many others, has discovered the astonishing aesthetic similarities between millenia-old folk Berber carpets and the modern, avant-garde art from Europe and the USA starting in the Thirties. We've had rugs that we refer to as "The Rothko Rug," "The Hoffmann Rug," etc etc. This book juxtaposes mid-century Berber rugs with mid-century European art to great effect. 

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