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

back to "An Educational Guide to Antique Shirvan Prayer rugs" main page


Antique Shirvan pictorial Prayer rug, Shirvan Region, Azerbaijan. second half 19th century. 124 X 180cm (4'11" x 5 '7")

'What a riot of imagination lies in this small prayer rug,' wrote Ulrich Schurmann of a rug very similar to this one. In fact, both rugs belong to an exclusive family of four rugs with strictly conforming designs, strongly influenced by north Persian weaving. The field is dominated by a central cypress tree and filled with fantastic animals - including elephants, peacocks, lions and roosters - and human figures. The rugs in this small group also share a predominantly blue palette and are of similar dimensions. The peacocks are quite similar in design to those in some Caucasian animal carpets. The theme of a mound and cypress tree motif flanked by peacocks also occurs in certain types of nineteenth-century Persian prayer rugs, such as Mosul, Malaver and Feraghan. The lion with the sword in the top border is a symbol of imperial Persia (Iran).
The example was first published in Herrmann "Seltene Orientteppiche II", plate 38. In his text, Hermann points out the peculiarity of the absence of a main border at the top and bottom, which occurs in all four examples.


published Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer rug, the literature is from this book.