Collection of Antique Caucasian Karakashly Rugs
Karakashly Rugs (or Karagashli) epitomize the handsome style of Caucasian carpets from eastern villages along the Caspian Sea. Located just 40 kilometers from Kuba, the village of Karakashly is often lumped into the Kuba rug group. Although these pieces are similar to the border-heavy carpets of Kuba, Karagashli rugs have many unique features and designs.
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The village of Karakashly is located near the northern edge of Azerbaijan, not far from Derbent and Russian Dagestan. Historically, this area was part of the Persian Khanate of Kuba, and it has an inextricable link to the name. These handsome, richly colored rugs feature saturated reds and deep blues juxtaposed against bright white accents. Although there are exceptions, Karagashli rugs favor grand allover designs with floating Harshang blossoms and many small-scale medallions. Lozenges and geometric tiles are also featured prominently in the field of Karagashli rugs as are distinctive quatrefoil polygons with notched indentations.
The open spacing of these multi-medallion blossoms lends itself well to Afshan patterns, which are often associated with carpets from Kuba. Afshan designs featured in Karagashli rugs use lavish floral motifs paired with bifurcated calyces that have an unmistakable rectilinear appearance. Serrated leaf and wine-cup motifs, barber pole stripes and kufesque figures frequently appear in Karagashli borders. These archetypal motifs enhance the decorative value of these masculine, stately antique carpets, which have a superb blend of Safavid, Caucasian and Lesgi influences.
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