Dedicated to research on Anatolian rugs

Sonny Berntsson, a prominent member of Gothenburgs Oriental Rug Society (AKREP),  has dedicated much of his time to research on Anatolian rugs and kilims and has become an expert in idenfication of Anatolian rugs. Sonny started collecting rugs in 1975 and a couple of years later he decided to specialize in Anatolian rugs.

“Especially the excellent colors in old Anatolian rugs  fascinated me because they were so truly folk art” said Sonny Berntsson to Jozan Magazine.

Jozan Magazines interview with Sonny Berntsson took place Friday 9 November 2012 where he had organized a special display of Anatolian rugs from Gothenburg collections exclusively for Jozan Magazine.

"This prayer rug was made by a female Anatolian Picasso" said Sonny Berntsson about this 19th century East Anatolian Kurdish rug

“I’m now retired from my professional job at Volvo in Gothenburg and use my freedom with long travels in Turkey and investigation of Anatolian rugs, their origin and symbols. I have visited Turkey 62 times since 1975 and have learned about Anatolian rugs through research and discussions with old respected Turkish dealers. Sadly – most of those dealers are dead now”  said Sonny Berntsson.

Savak Kurd Yastik. In the area Tunceli-Bingöl-Erzurum the Kurdish female weavers often used a natural brownish/purple wool in their own rugs.

A kilim fragment from the Karapinar area. Age before 1800.

Karapinar-Karacadag Yastik second half 19th century

Sonny Berntsson with a mid 19th century Geveri Yastik

Zara Sivas Yastik circa 1900. Probably made by Armenian weavers.

Anatolian Isiklar rug (village 45 km north of Karapinar) circa 1890. Probably used for meditation and prayer.

Tashkale rug circa 1875. This village is located in the Karaman province.

Cankiri Kurd NE Central Anatolia mid 19th century. This is left half part of a carpet and the sister part is missing. The two parts have been sewed together because this Cankiri family only had a narrow loom.

Kurdish prayer rug. Bingöl, East Anatolia circa 1875.

Cankiri Kurd rug fragment circa 1800.

Sonny Berntsson inspecting a Kurdish soumak

Kurdish prayer rug, Erzincan province circa 1885. A very special prayer rug with an unusual color combination and design.

“I have always been rather private with my hobby and passion for Anatolian rugs, but after I have retired I have been more active about Anatolian rugs in the public room. Your readers are welcome to contact me with questions” said Sonny Berntsson at the end of the interview.

More information: Sonny Berntsson email and Facebook profile