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Antique Shirvan Prayer rug, Shirvan Region, Azerbaijan. dated 1310 (=1892). 119 x 127 cm. published Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate 83

This rug features a rare simplified version of the classic Konaghend design, an intricate mosaic of interwoven elements based on conjoined hexagons (see plates 45 and 46). The Konaghend pattern is arguably the most intricate and complex of all Caucasian field designs. It is almost certainly rooted in the 'Lotto' designs of sixteenth-century Ushak rugs from Anatolia (an intricate lattice tracery pattern featuring conjoined hexagons; so called because of its depiction in paintings by the sixteenth-century artist Lorenzo Lotto). Various bird and animal forms may be identified in Konaghend patterns; whether these were intentional trompe l'oeil or accidental imagery on the part of the weaver is as yet an unresolved issue.
It is surprising that this rug was produced in the Shirvan area. No similar Shirvan rug is known. It is dated ah 1310 (1892) , a date fully consistent with the rug's appearance and feel. It has some unusual features, such as the almost-square formal and the field design of confronting chicken or rooster forms. It seems unlikely that such an unconventional rug would have been made for export; it could possibly have been made by a weaver who had moved from neighbouring Konaghend andwas thus familiar with the designs from that area.