OLD ORIENTAL CARPET

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SMALLER AND MIDDLE SIZED RUGS. 1.

Here you will find a mixture of smaller and middle sized rugs from Central Asia and North Africa with lengths up to 275 cms., or 9 feet, (108 inches) with varying widths.

 

 

ANTIQUE PRE - SOVIET CAUCASIAN RUG from the region of Zakatal, a group of villages in north west Azerbaijan. The region is bordered to the north and east by Dagestan and to the west by Georgia. The dates read either 1311 (most probable) or 1331 (unlikely) which equate to 1895 or 1912. The warp is hand spun, undyed, wool and the weft is also wool supplemented by extremely fine white cotton in places. Pile is low with enough height to show the rich, beautiful natural colours in most places. It is lower in other smaller areas. A fascinating piece. Reference 3355. Size 163 x 116 cms., or 5ft. 4ins. x 3ft. 10ins. Euros 550.

CLOSE UP of the date which reads 1311 (most probable) or 1331 (less likely). These dates equate to 1895 and 1912.

ON MY TRAVELS at the start of the High Atlas.

THE IMPOSING SNOW COVERED peaks lie ahead. There are about 600 villages in the foothills. The little known Berber tribes of the Ait bou Ichaouen and Ait Atta live in the high peaks which lead to the Algerian border.

BALOUCH/BELOUCH RUG from the region of Shindand in south east Persia along the border with Afghanistan. The wool is soft and lustrous with a deep sheen and the deep dark colours are a welcome contrast to the inevitable harsh sunshine. Reference 3498. Size 190 x 95 cms., or 6ft. 3ins. x 3ft. 2ins. Euros 325.

CLOSE UP showing the deep colours and border which is often used in rugs from Shindand. The embroidered kilim border is also shown.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER CARPET. This old carpet is from the region of Ait Ouaouzguite in the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakech. The dyes include colours taken from henna, saffron and curcuma. It is in good original condition with full pile, complete ends and overcasting. There is a small reweave in the top kilim end border. A similar piece with these panel designs is shown in "From Sign to Image - The Moroccan Carpet" pages 169 to 171. Reference 2078. Size 270 x 160cms, 9ft x 5ft 3ins, Euros 925.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER CARPET. This old carpet is from the region of Ait Ouaouzguite in the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakech. The dyes include colours taken from henna, saffron and curcuma. It is in good original condition with full pile, complete ends and overcasting. There is a small reweave in the top kilim end border. A similar piece with these panel designs is shown in "From Sign to Image - The Moroccan Carpet" pages 169 to 171. Reference 2078. Size 270 x 160cms, 9ft x 5ft 3ins. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER RUG A gifted weaver has created an almost 3 dimensional look by contrasting central medallions of deep charcoal with lustrous undyed white wool in the field. There is minor use of a very light apricot highlight. This rug is from the region of Azilal in the foothills of the High Atlas, east of Marrakech. Reference 2553. Size 227 x 142cms. 7ft.5in. x 4ft.8in. Euros 790.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER RUG A gifted weaver has created an almost 3 dimensional look by contrasting central medallions of deep charcoal with lustrous undyed white wool in the field. There is minor use of a very light apricot highlight. This rug is from the region of Azilal in the foothills of the High Atlas, east of Marrakech. Reference 2553. Size 227 x 142cms. 7ft.5in. x 4ft.8in. CLOSE UP.

ERSARI TURKOMAN PRAYER RUG. This unusual, very fine, early 20th century rug is from the village of Labijar in northern Afghanistan adjacent to the Turkmenistan border. This type is often categorised as work of the Kizyl Ayak sub-tribe of the Ersaris. Information, including a regional map and colour Plate 67 can be seen in “The Carpets of Afghanistan” by R.D. Parsons. The colours have subtle abrash and are natural and there is generous use of saffron yellow. It is in impeccable condition. Reference 246. Size 131 x 94cms, 4ft 4ins x 3ft 1ins, Euros 800.

ERSARI TURKOMAN PRAYER RUG. This unusual, very fine, early 20th century rug is from the village of Labijar in northern Afghanistan adjacent to the Turkmenistan border. This type is often categorised as work of the Kizyl Ayak sub-tribe of the Ersaris. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS RUG. Few weavers can achieve such a deep rich glowing background as this. The indigo dye allows the portrayal of flower heads and other traditional Berber designs to float, The shades of yellow from pale to deep are the result of skillful use of wild henna as the dye. The rug is from the southern tip of the High Atlas range around Tazenacht on the edge of the Pre-Sahara. Reference 2777. Size 182 x 128 cms., or 6ft. x 4ft. 3ins. Euros 750.

INDIGO, MADDER AND HENNA combine to make a dramatic design.

KARADJA RUG which is very unusual. It is old but in perfect condition with full glossy pile and original ends and sides. The weave on the reverse confirms that this rug is from the region the small town of Karadja and the border design is the same as is used on most Karadja pieces. An Iranian expert has placed the rug as probably being woven in the once prosperous nearby village of Qizapan decades ago. The village has now declined and the 2006 census shows it had 25 families and 92 inhabitants. The designs in the field consist of a lily flower, cut into half to show all the leaves and flowers. This is a classic "Shah Abbass" design, hundreds of years old and typically found in fine Persian city rugs. Reference 3321. Size 150 x 115 cms., or approximately 5 x 4 ft. Euros 685.

CLOSE UP of the "Shah Abbass" lily floral design surmounted by the typical Karadja border.

MOROCCO BERBER RUG which is old but in outstanding unblemished condition and is complete with its embroidered kilim ends. The pile is full and the wools very lustrous. The colors appear to be natural and many shades of the local henna dyed wool have been used. The unique use of bands of different colored weft threads and their use in overcasting show that it is the work of the At Tamassin Berber group north of the major centre of Tazenacht. There is substantial information on this region and its weavings in the excellent text book "Tasnacht" by Kurt Rainer and Hassane el Yakine on pages 80 and 84 to 86. Reference 3350. Size 250 x 138 cms., or 8ft. 3ins. x 4ft. 7ins. Euros 980

CLOSE UP OF the deep, dark background upon which designs and motifs stand out sharply.

EXCEPTIONALLY FINE, PART SILK, NAIN RUG which has a knot density of approximately 910,000 a square metre. The design is sharp and clear and there is generous use of white silk throughout which is used as a highlight around the leaves, flowers and other designs. Reference 3064. Size 122 x 84 cms., or 4ft. x 2ft. 9ins. Euros 750.

CLOSE UP OF THE CENTRAL MEDALLION in which generous amounts of silk have been used.

ANTIQUE RUG FROM THE AREA OF MELAZ in the south west corner of Turkey (Anatolia). The weave is consistent with the older Melaz pieces but it is the shades of butter yellow and various light to dark shades of terracotta which give the biggest clues. There is corrosion in the black wool used in some small places. The field is low all over but the overall condition is very good with the ends and sides complete and intact. A serious piece for a collection. Reference 3542. Size 240 x 110 cms., or 8ft. x 3ft. 8 inches. Euros 1650.

CLOSE UP OF THE MAJOR BORDER. The dark terracotta shade of red is found in the older Melaz rugs dating from the late 19th century and are known as "Ada Melaz". The small black area surrounding the animal is corroded.

THIS IS WHERE I FIND YOUR RUGS. Every Monday at about mid-day the rugs found in the various Middle Atlas mountain villages the previous week are brought to this dusty square in the town of Khemisset. Those not sold are usually then sent on to the larger dealers in Marrakech which is a further 8 hour drive to the south. I hunt here for the most interesting rugs, bags and kilims.

MEET YOUR SUPPLIERS. These are sheep belonging to the Beni Ourain Berbers in the Middle Atlas mountains. The wool is lustrous, rich in lanolin, and is carefully sheared, washed, carded and spun. Often the Berbers do not dye the wool but rely on the shades of black, charcoal, many greys and browns and of course the whites and ivories.

ANTIQUE KURDISH RUG from the western Kurdish Mountain region of the Iran/Iraq border. A very similar example, with the same repeated floral bushes set on an abrashed central field, and also having the same mustard coloured border, is shown as plate 9, page 59, in the text book "An Introduction to Kurdish Rugs" by William Eagleton. He notes that the remoteness of the area and small supply is inadequate to fill the demand for these rugs which are now appreciated and dates the piece as c. 1925. The condition is outstanding. The pile is low but even and the original ends, complete with embroidered kilim finishes intact. The colours have a depth and richness which glow when the fine supple rug is wafted. Reference 3396. Size 250 x 110 cms., or 9ft. 3ins. x 3ft. 8 ins. Euros 1050.

CLOSE UP of the lower part showing the intricate design and the complete embroidered kilim end.

CLOSE UP OF THE CENTRE FIELD SHOWING THE MAJOR DESIGN. The colours are typically deep rich shades of mid-blue and madder red. The yellow shade and avocado green are not often found in large designs such as these, they are usually included in small leaves and flowers.

RARE OLD LURI TRIBAL RUG. Although the Lurs are among the most ancient inhabitants of what is now Iran there is little information about their weaving compared to other tribal groups. Geographically they inhabit two major areas of the Zagros region and are surrounded by many other tribes. Many exchanges of ideas and designs have taken place within neighbours which makes exact attribution difficult, as is the case here. The rug has designs found in Luri rugs from Aliabad, known as Yalameh. Even the wool feels as it is from there. Other designs and colours are found in several Luri pieces found in the excellent books by James Opie. The dark yellow and avocado green ar both used in rugs and kilims from Lurs much further south in the orbit of Shiraz. Overall good condition, some corrosion and the ends have been secured. Soft supple wools with a good lustre and sheen. Reference 3397. Size 260 x 151 cms., or 8ft. 6ins. x 5ft. Euros 1300. Did you find the guard dog hiding in the field?.

MOROCCO ---- OFTEN SEEN, OFTEN IGNORED.

MOROCCAN BERBER TRIBAL RUG. This is an old piece from the Beni Sadden Berbers, a small group who live in the eastern section of the Middle Atlas Mountains east of the city of Fes. Beni Sadden weaving is very distinctive. The rugs are dense and heavy and the use of squares and diamonds often filled with Berber motifs are often used. Output is small and they are difficult to find. The best reference which gives much information and 18 color plates is in "Maroc - Tapis de Tribus" pages 44 to 51. Reference 2785. Size 163 x 140 cms., or 5ft. 4ins. x 4ft. 7ins. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER RARE INSCRIBED RUG. This is an old piece from the Beni Sadden Berbers, a small group who live in the eastern section of the Middle Atlas Mountains east of the city of Fes. It bears the name "Allah" in Moroccan Arabic script in the top right hand corner and was probably the previous owner·s prayer rug. Beni Sadden weaving is very distinctive. The rugs are dense and heavy and the use of squares and diamonds often filled with Berber motifs are often used. Output is small and they are difficult to find. The best reference which gives much information and 18 color plates is in "Maroc - Tapis de Tribus" pages 44 to 51. Reference 2785. Size 163 x 140 cms., or 5ft. 4ins. x 4ft. 7ins. Euros 540.

THIS OLD BERBER MAN drives his 1969 Peugeot pick up 420 kilometres EACH WAY from the Pre Sahara through the High Atlas and then to Marrakech every month bringing the rugs he finds. I always try to meet him, listen to the latest rug gossip and find some great pieces.

STREET FOOD, MARRAKECH STYLE. The early evening air is filled with smoke from open cooking fires.

AN OLD FORT near the town of Sidi Mokhtar is used as a collection point and co-operative for rugs woven in homes in the surrounding villages. Sometimes - with luck - a few old pieces are still available.