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Ref. No: 0407-81

Group: Guba

Sub-Group: Qonaqkend

Origin Country: AZERBAIJAN, Qonaqkend Village (40kms to the south from Guba Town)

General/Historical Information: According to Latif Kerimov - the honoured art worker of Azerbaijan, the old carpet masters called Qonaqkend type of carpets "Khorasan Cheshnisi", which means "Design from Khorasan Area". If we look up on the map, there is a long distance between Khorasan and today's Qonaqkend, and  they are located in different countries. So why did these old carpet makers call it Khorasan Design? What is the relation between Qonaqkend and Khorasan? Accoring to Kerimov, in the 12th century, in all carpet weaving districts of Azerbaijan, specially in Tabriz, the production of turunj-medallion carpets evolved. In the following centuries, the production of this turunj-medallion carpets were spread in the provinces of Iran, including Khorasan (Mashhad, Torshiz).

Later, in 18th century, a new tradition evolved in some provinces of Azerbaijan and Iran - visiting Imam's grave in Mashad was considered as a "sacred duty". The pilgrims, visiting the city of Mashad, brought the carpets from there for the mosques and schools. At the same time, this "turunj" design were started to be produced in the north eastern part of Azerbaijan, including Qonaqkend village. Consequently, this type of carpets were named as "Khorasan", since they brought the design from that area.

But it must be mentioned that after adopting this design from Khorasan carpets, the local carpet makers made a lot of changes on it. Therefore, a new design was evolved, which is used on Qonaqkend carpets today.

So according to Kerimov, Qonaqkend carpets have at least 300 years old background.

Art Analysis: The main element of the carpet is the medallion of the central field. This medallion is the geometric form of Turunj medallion, which has been used in the decoration of Islamic books,  architectural buildings and engravings of the gravestones since 9th century. And as it is mentioned before, from the 12th century this design was used in carpets. Again according to Kerimov, the cross shaped element which is located in the centre of the medallion is the geometric shape of a flower with four petals.

But it is well known fact that this region has been carpet weaving district for centuries. In the 7th century, historian Musa Kalankatli noted in "Agvan tarikhi", that silk textiles and multicoloured carpets were manufactured in Albania -the ancient state which was existed from 4th century BC until 7th century AD, for 1100 years in the territory of Northern Azerbaijan. Albania was the first state in the Caucasia, which accepted "early simple Christianity". Since ethnology of Qonaqkend is also directly related with ancient Albania, there is a possibility that cross shaped element could be a symbol of Christianity. Even Albans used this element even before Christianity, as the symbol of main four element of nature: each side of the cross represented Air, Ground, Fire, and Water.

There are a lot of deer in Qonaqkend forests. That's why, deer images is often depicted in Qonaqkend carpets. This carpet with the border that adorned with parrots of different colors is the unique sample of its type.


Warp&Weft: cotton

Density/Kpsm (knots per square meter): (40x50) up to 200 000

Colors: Naturally dyed

Size: 145cmx300cm


AGE: 1950s

Condition: very good

Technical Analysis: Density of "Qonaqkend" carpets varies from 40x40 to 50x50 per square decimeter. (from 160.000 to 250.000 knots per square meter)

The height of pile: 4-7 mm


Researched and prepared by Vugar Dadashov


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