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
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Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

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Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs



Early Kuba rug with "flowering shrubs" motif, Salmasöyüd design, early 19th century, Mountainous Kuba Region, possibly Söhüb or Khyrt village, Konagkend District, North East Azerbaijan.

This rug has a very distinctive border design, which is somewhat simplified but is clearly recognizable, as a highly stylized floral arabesque. Its presence is associated principally with a distinctive field design, which is a directional pattern of stylised, angular, flowering shrubs. Their attribution to either Shirvan or Kuba is controversial, most authors favoring the former. A particularly fine example, in small rug size, appears in Richard Purdon's catalogue Shirvan and Related Weavings from the North Caucasus (plate 5) and again, but in colour in Eberhart Herrmann's Von Lotto bis Tekke (no. 37) (this is cotton wefted). The field design is not, however, confined only to pieces with this border; two examples, with blue grounds and diamond pole borders, are illustrated in Ian Bennett's Book of Oriental Carpets and Rugs, (p. 107) as Shirvan, and Murray Eiland's Oriental Rugs (no. 176) as Derbend. Although the stylized floral nature of the composition is obvious, it is interesting to note that on some rugs, the tall, spindly, shrub has a 'W-shaped' base, perhaps another distant echo of the 'animal-tree'. Related rugs with less complex designs are illustrated in the Frankfurt catalogue, Kaukasische Teppiche, nos. 54 and 55. Inevitably also sees a number of more realistically drawn tree and shrub carpets of the late Safavid period from Kurdish north-west Persia, a particularly handsome example of which is illustrated as plate 124 in Erdmann's Oriental Carpets (1976). Such palmettes can also be found on the Kuba Chi-Chi rugs. The best old examples are usually described as 18th century and, although I (Ian Bennett) tend to doubt this, a date in the first half of the 19th century is not impossible. 462 x 102 cm


Text and lit. from Ian Bennett's Oriental Rugs Volume I, plate no: 328