About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project

Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan

Sorting, Washing, Carding, Spinning

"The advantages of handspun yarn to machine spun yarn"

Rediscovery of Ancient Natural Dyes
Our Natural Dyestuffs


Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

Weaving and Finishing Steps

Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs



AH 1312 (1895 AD) dated Kuba Alpan prayer rug, Northern Hillside Kuba Region, North East Azerbaijan. 71 x 119 cm, 2'4" x 3'11". Published at Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate no: 54

Zeikhur area prayer rugs are extremely uncommon and this, to the best of my knowledge, is the only prayer example with the Alpan-Kuba' pattern. This design evolved from the eighteenth-century silk embroideries of Azerbaijan and Karabagh. In his auction catalogue notes (Rippon, 28 March 1992) Detlef Maltzahn remarks on the rug's small format, its designation as a prayer carpet and the presence of an inscription and date in the border, which may indicate that the rug was a commissioned piece, probably intended as a gift.

The bottom border differs from the others. Although at first glance it may appear that the original concept was simply abandoned in favour of the more standard 'running dog motif, a closer examination shots that the weaver had a definite purpose: hexagons from the bottom border are repeated as decorations in the spandrels flanking the 'Zeikhur rose' prayer arch. The rug's palette is quite similar to that of a late nineteenth century Alpan-Kuba example illustrated as plate 33 in Keshishian. The Treasure of the Caucasus.