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Victoria and Albert Museum Early Dragon rug, 17-18th cenury, Safavid Period, possibly Karabagh, Territory of Gendje /Ganja Beylerbeyi (Province)

Victoria and Albert Museum, No. 171. Acquired in 1909. 6 feet 11 inches x 6feet (2.11m x 1.83m). 17th century

Warp - Two-ply white wool; 16 to one inch; on two levels not much separated.
Weft - Red wool; two shoots after each row of knots.
Knots - Wool; Ghiordes type; 12 to one inch; 100 to the square inch.
Colours - 8: Red (field); medium blue; white (first border); yellow; light blue; dark blue; brown-black; purple.

The pattern of this carpet appears to be a development of the earlier Dragon carpets. The long leaves have almost lost their serrations and have become bar-like appendages of the palmettes; and the spotted dragons are so debased as to be unrecognisable without the help of more primitive forms of the motive. The border with two varieties of S-forms is one found also in many Turkish prayer rugs.

It is not difficult to trace in this carpet earlier forms of the large rayed figures and very angular floral motives so common in Kazak and other Caucasian carpets of a later date.

In the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum, Berlin, there is a carpet resembling both this one and the other V&A Dragon rug; its border is almost identical with the border of the latter. (Vienna Book, Plate 36.)