ANTIQUE TEXTILE ART IV
A Collection of Oriental and European Carpets and Textiles
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9. 
konaghend prayer rug
northeast caucasus

circa 1840
145 x 93 cm (49 x 31)


Notes: symmetrically knotted wool pile with details of silk on wool warps and cotton wefts and gold thread brocading
The archaic field design of this very fine prayer rug belongs to the earliest phase of the so-called Konaghend typology. Here the characteristic rows of conjoined hexagons are connected to abstract animal figures that resemble the stags seen on the gold ornaments of the Scythian period. This prayer rug presents us with a number of extremely rare features. To date, all of the early Konaghend prayer rugs published have a blue tracery on a red ground, making this a unique exception (see R. Kaffel, Caucasian Prayer Rugs, London 1998, plates 45-46, pg. 96-97). Although all of these pieces are characterised by a main Kufic border, none of them have an inner border decorated with the stylised bird motif - a typical feature of Marasali rugs. The velvety texture of this prayer rug is enhanced by highlights of silk pile, used sparingly for certain design details. In addition there are small areas brocaded with gold thread, further attesting to the extremely fine quality of the weave and possibly indicating that it was commissioned for a special occasion. The impeccable condition of this piece allows us to fully appreciate the art of Caucasian weaving at its best.

 



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