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



Antique Kuba Medallion Gubpa rug, Southern Lowland Kuba Region, Devechi-Shabran District, Shahnazarli-Karagashli Area, North East Azerbaijan.

256 This and the following five rugs represent a well known type of Shirvan carpet composition which has rows of stepped edged and conjoined hexagonal motifs arranged in a single vertical row, with a flattened, saw-edged medallion at either end of the row; the latter motif has been related by some authors to ancient Egyptian and Persian Royal insignia. On some examples, such as that illustrated in Raymond Benardout's Caucasian Rugs (p-51), large saw-edged medallions are found in a single vertical row, with small hexagons at their centres. In general, these rugs, like the previously described "flower Shirvans", are long and narrow. Usually they have all-wool foundations and are slightly ribbed at the back, suggesting a provenance to the northern part of the Shirvan area, an idea borne out by their resemblance to so-called 'Zejwa' rugs from the area south of Kuba (compare 402-404). As with all generalisations about Caucasian weavings, however, there are numerous exceptions—for instance the cotton-wefted piece with white cotton overcast sides illustrated in Murray Eiland"s Oriental Rugs (no. 159), the two examples with similar structure in Richard Purdon's, Shirvan and related Weavings from the North Caucasus (nos 2 and 3), and the cotton-wefted rug with blue cotton overcasting illustrated in Peter Bausback's 1976 catalogue (p.89). These rugs almost all have dark blue fields with myriad filler ornaments including animals, birds and human figures; a yellow-ground border with linked 'S' motifs is commonly found—a border which, both in colour and design is also found on north Persian tribal and village rugs (cf. Jenny Houseso, Tribal Rugs, pl. 82). I know of two published dated examples. The first is illustrated in the Australian Society for Antique Rugs' 1974 catalogue, Antique Rugs from the Caucasus (no. 13), with the date read as 1902, although I prefer the reading 1304 A.H. (A.D. 1886/7). The second dated example of this type came to light recently in a provincial auction in England (Elliott and Green, Lymington, 28 June. 1979, lot 363); this had the typical field and 'interlock' border composition, also similar-to our 261. was dated 1333 A.H. (A.D. 1914), and was of very good quality apart from the albeit sparing use of synthetic orange and pink. The present rug is very similar to examples in the Metropolitan Museum (Dimand. no. 174) and in Schurmann's book (no. 66). A very good piece, probably late 19th century. 252 x 118 cm


Lit: Ian Bennett's Oriental Rugs Volume I
published Ian Bennett's Oriental Rugs Volume I, plate 256