This is quite an early small rug by the Turkmen Tekke (Teke) tribe. Dip khali is the name for a gul-patterned rug used as hearth rug, or, according to Moshkova, for the threshold. Dip khalis of this age are surprisingly rare. The field shows three vertical rows of seven Tekke guls, with the Chemche secondary gul, one of the most common secondary guls in Tekke rugs. The main guls are typical quartered type, linked by a grid in saturated indigo blue. The field design is not as crammed as in many later pieces, and the main side borders are not yet stereotypical but inventive and playful, alternating between differently coloured stars and compartments filled with a wide range of intricate geometric patterns. The secondary borders to both sides o fthe main border show ramshorm devices.
Both top and bottom have a piled skirt or elem with diagonally ascending rows of hooks enclosing a serrated diamond shape that opens outwards, alternating with a kind of vertical cartouche with extending arms and ramshorn crown top and bottom.
The rug measures 4ft.10in. x 3ft.10in. (147cm x 117cm). It has the typical Tekke structure: soft and supple handle, very even weave and smooth back, short-clipped, dense, pelt like pile. No warp depression, knot type asymmetric open to the left, 9 knots per inch horizontal x 16 knots vertical, ca. 144 kpsi. Warps are from thin s-plied white wool, wefts are thin dark brown wool, 2 weft shots. Flat 6-cord (on the right side) and 8-cord (on the left) reinforced selvages, the inner 4 (6) warps wrapped with red pile wool, the outmost two originally wrapped in dark indigo wool (now only visible at a few points).
A small palette with good natural colours, no bleeding or tip fading. The madder red occurs in a darker and a lighter shade and shows some abrash, the lighter madder shade makes up the field colour, the darker is used in guls and borders. The indigo blue also occurs in two shades (dark and very dark). Apart from that there is of course off-white, and a medium-dark brown (probably undyed wool) used only for thin outlining.
As so often the trade-off for age and beauty is a less than perfect condition. There is overall uneven wear with an area in the centre where the pile is down to the knot heads, and a small bald area where just the foundation remains (but intact). This small area coincides with a white quarter of one of the main guls, so it is not very prominent (see image). In other areas, the pile is still very good. The rug has slight losses at both ends and corner rounding at the bottom. There may have been longer red kilim skirts beyond the piled skirts once but only a trace of kilim remains at the top. The ends should be secured.
The structure is sound with no holes, tears or slits. The selvages however are quite worn, more so on the right side, but the warps remain, so re-wrapping is an option.
Near the top right corner there is a dark shade that looks as if it is from char soiling, and not a stain from any liquid - it is not visible at the back and may well come out in a wash. Apart from that I see no stains, no rot and no stiff areas.