A collection of collectors: discourse and practice in Moroccan carpet and flatweave collecting
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This research adds to the critical discussion and history of collecting by examining collectors and dealers of Moroccan carpets, flatweaves and textiles. Moroccan textiles operate within the general field of antique Oriental rugs and carpets where they circulate and are given value. The discourse of collecting Moroccan textiles within this context provides an understanding of specific collecting practices and goes beyond the preponderance of collecting analysis based in popular culture and mass consumption. The study traces the collectors and dealers who shaped a trajectory of changing value for Moroccan carpets and textiles over a twenty year period. It analyzes three sites where the trafficking in discourses of value shape collecting taste, presents shifting narratives of specialized knowledge in creating discourses of identity, and follows the collectors’ personal journeys of discovery and ways in which difference and distinction may be established. The work is completed with a technical analysis of the weaving structure for approximately 180 Moroccan weavings.