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New York City dealer in Persian, Caucasian, Turkish, Indian and European antique decorative and collectible rugs and carpets

Aubussons, Axminsters, Savonneries, Tapestries, Persian carpets and more at Metropolitan Carpet Gallery

 

ORIENTAL RUGS DICTIONARY

Caucasus

 

The Caucasus lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Its weavers, being mountain dwellers for centuries, maintained their old traditions, using strong geometrical patterns. Ancient Caucasian populations probably learned the technique of knotting from the Persians during the 16 and 17 Centuries.  The most popular items of this period are the so called “Dragon Carpets”. These carpets consist of small dragon motifs spread within narrow stylized leaves over the whole field.

Russian rule in the 19 Century brought to decline of the Persian influence, and it was a period of discovery of the traditional motifs and techniques, going back to early weaving roots, but court motifs were absorbed into these designs, and these are the antique rugs we find today.  In the 1920s and 1930s the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin deported many tribes people and villagers to remote corners of the Soviet Union as part of his series of five-year plans to make the nation an industrial power.  Most of these people never returned to their homelands. Those who remained in the Caucasus were subject to collectivized farming and their flocks of sheep were reduced to levels where weaving was not practical.

 

In terms of construction, Caucasian weaving appears to fall into two distinct groups with quite different characteristics.  The “Kazak” group which lies South of the Caucasian mountains includes the so called Kazaks of various types along with Karabagh, Gendje and Talish. North and East of the mountains the “Shirvan” or “Kuba” group with a different construction. These are rugs from Shirvan, Kuba, Seychour, Perpedil, Karagashli Etc.