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

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Antique Shirvan Prayer kilim, Shirvan Region, Azerbaijan. early  19th century. 88 x 192 cm

Antique prayer flatweaves from the Caucasus are extremely rare. A prayer sumakh from the Arthur D. Jenkins Collection was the first such example to be published, in 1969,1 and as far as I know only 12 such pieces have been published to date (four vernehs, two sumakhs and six kilims). This example was the first of the kilims to appear at auction (at Lefevre in 1977). As the accompanying catalogue points out, the absence of Caucasian prayer kilims is intriguing, given the relative abundance of other types of kilims from the area. This kilim is made from wool using the slit-tapestry technique on a mixed brown and ivory woollen warp. Some of the small ornaments in the spandrels and in the borders are embroidered. The boldly latticed ivory field evokes the lattice prayer rugs from Sbirvan.
The kilim performed well at auction and as so often happens, this brought other such pieces out of the chests and closets of collectors. On of these was sold at Edelmann in 1981.
Both rugs are very similar in concept, size, colouring and design, down to the smallest details. (Eberhart Hermann immediately recognized their scarcity and acquired both pieces.). A third kilim appeared at auction a year later.)