Tribal Antique Late 18th Century Caucasian Rug with Animal Design, Country of Origin: Caucasus, Circa Date: 18th century – This exquisite 18th century Caucasian rug, is one of the very best rugs and portrays a variety of animals which gives this piece true distinction. This type of rug was most often created as a village piece, made using materials and designs found in a specific region. Done in vibrant primary colors against a solid black background, this rug contains the classic elements that are characteristic of tribal rugs from the Caucuses and from this period. Bordered by a narrow pattern of geometric shapes, the juxtaposition of abstract shapes and animal life is truly remarkable. Intricate and detailed, this painstakingly-crafted rug epitomizes the traditional artwork of its time. The many animals depicted enhance the conversation value of this particular piece with imagery that is truly unique.
More About This 18th Century Caucasian Rug:
Animal print never goes out of style. Clothes, curtains, footwear, handbags and area rugs richly adorned with animals have been popular since ancient times. In the past, kings and princes used carpets with prints of lions, tigers, elephants and other big and powerful animals as an ostentatious display of their wealth and power. Today, antique rugs and carpets with animal prints are highly prized because they are considered a symbol of wealth and class.
Recently, we have added a rare 18th century Caucasian animal carpet to our collection of highly collectible antique area rugs. This carpet is so rare that it is one of the only two known specimens of its kind in existence today, which makes it all the more interesting and exciting.
The Caucasian animal carpet is thought to have originated in South Caucasus (somewhere in present day northwest Iran or southern Russia) in the late 18th century, which was the period of calm before the storm in the turbulent history of the region. Soon the dozen or so khanates of the region would be invaded and annexed by Russia and Iran. The weaver never got a whiff of things to come, however, as the carpet is a rich tapestry of animals and birds living in peace and harmony.
Today, as in the past, Caucasian rugs and carpets primarily come from the rural areas. Made using materials found locally, they normally have geometric rug designs in primary colors. This feature is conspicuous in the Caucasian Animal print carpet. The dozen or so animals that include horses, camels and tigers, are made of straight and geometric lines rather than natural curved lines. The colors are also limited to primary colors.
The design of this carpet is reminiscent of the designs from early Safavid carpets, which were woven with a variety of structures. This means that the images cannot be placed easily into a single homogeneous group. The animals are densely packed together, each animal facing a particular direction. Each print is repeated several times, but in no particular order, betraying the charming naivety of the weaver or that she deliberately wanted to create an impression of a playful place full of motifs and a greater sense of movement.
In his well-researched book, “Animal and Tree Carpets, an Amorphous Group,” Ian Bennet has given 19 examples of this group of carpets. This particular specimen is similar to two examples identified by the author as the Milan carpet in the Freiberger collection and the Bechirian rug in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. However, this carpet is unique because unlike the other carpets, it has no central vertical axis. This carpet is truly a rare and wonderful acquisition.