About This Rare and Collectible Antique 18th Century Caucasian Karabagh Rug #47245
This antique rug comes from a well-defined large group intermediate between the 17th- early 18th century dragon carpets with polychrome all over lattice patterns, exclusively stylized Dragon and palmettes, as well as later 18th-19th century pieces with all over repeating patterns of Persian origin (Harsheng, Fusham, etc.) This carpet with a middle blue ground has a central sunburst medallion which appears on later, 19th century Chelaberd or “Eagle Kozaks”.
Further the semi-circular arched motive above and below are the sources of similar devices on single medallion “Eagle” rugs. The blue ground on this Karabagh rug, however, defers from the almost universal madder red of the 19th century piece. The star yellow border of the “S’s” and diagonal palmettes will re-appear later, shorn of the palmettes on many 19th century Caucasian and northwest Persian rugs.
Originally attributed to Kuba in the northeast Caucasus. They have more recently and cogently been assigned to the Karabagh area, close to Persia and specifically to the old capital of Shusha. The sizes of the dragon, blossom and all over pattern pieces indicate urban workshops able to undertake substantial large orders. Shesha was the only town of sufficient size. These were not village creations. The warp and weft are both wool and the pile is tied in symmetric (Turkish) knots on the semi-depressed alternate warps. The handle is heavy, firm and substantial. On many pieces there is an extra fat weft every 6” or so, marking the end of a day’s work. Thus the weaves pay could be determined easily.
This is a particularly attractive example with selectively free of the repairs which too often disfigure other examples. The importance of this 18th century carpet both artistic and art historical cannot be over emphasized. The blossom carpets influenced Caucasian silk embroideries and our 47367 is a prime example.
This superb antique 18th century Karabagh rug epitomizes the lavish style of regional carpets along with the sophisticated ornamentation associated with Safavid creations in the not too distant past. The rare, highly sought-after blue ground is emblazoned with a magnificent series of scorpion and sunburst medallions arranged in a complex pattern that displays the compositional principle of infinite rapport. Each medallion and elaborate border motif is embellished with layers of heavily detailed decorations knotted in an expansive color palette, ranging from jadeite green and buttery yellow to salmon pink and bistre. The iconographic heritage of Caucasian carpet designs is explored further in the marvelous main borders, which display Herati leaf figures and palmettes accompanied by S-hook cartouches that mimic the angular arthropodan feel of the dramatic field motifs.