COVER’s 50 Best Rugs: Scarpa Gelim by Ptolemy Mann
For the 50th edition of COVER, we asked influential people in the world of handmade carpets to without prejudice name the best rug since the first issue 13 years ago. The assistant editor of COVER, Rachel Meek chose Scarpa Gelim by Ptolemy Mann.
‘I’m a fan of flatweaves. I like how the limitations of the technique can inform the designs, creating geometric details where the colours meet. This piece is a homage to traditional utilitarian kilims from Mazandaran province in northern Iran, which have minimal abstract designs that appear timelessly modern. It is also influenced by the work of the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa (19061978), who in turn was inspired by the historic cultures of Venice and Japan. Unlike the Mazandaran pieces, the Scarpa Gelim employs a specialist ikat-dyeing technique, developed by Ptolemy Mann with her weavers in India. These multiple origins combine to stunning effect on this piece which has a pleasing interplay of light and dark sections in neutral shades and striking colour.‘