Southwestern Caucasus

1st half of the 19th century


     The prevalence of rugs with this particular design, known as "Karachov Kazak," suggests that large quantities of them were produced by a 19th-century cottage industry in the Caucasus. This piece is especially colorful, and its field elements exhibit a folk-like playfulness lacking in many "refined" examples. The palmette border motif, which appears here in a multitude of compelling color combinations, is found primarily on 18th- and early 19th-century Caucasian rugs. The Karachov design bears an unmistakable resemblance to "large-pattern Holbein" carpets of the 15th and 16th centuries, supporting the thesis that many popular Caucasian designs trace their roots to Anatolia. The rich colors and shaggy wool of this piece are typical of Karachov rugs, and the luminous blue-green is perhaps their most sought-after field color.


SIZE:  85 x 73 in. (215.9 x 185.4 cm.)
WARP: wool, Z2S; ivory
WEFT: wool, Z2S x 2-4; red
PILE: wool, Z2S, symmetrical knots, h. 8, v. 8, 64 k/sq in.; ivory, dark brown, brown, red, gold (abrash), blue-green (abrash), blue
ENDS: cut
SIDES: red and blue wool selvedge of 2 cords of 2 warps each, reinforced with modern overcast

Oriental Rugs from New England Private Collections