423. A unique antique Caucasian Chelaberd Karabagh rug

Antique Karabagh Caucasian Chelaberd 'Eaglestar' Kazak

423. Provenance: Chelabi (hence the name 'Chelaberd'), Karabagh, The Caucasus

Size: 220 x 150 cm

Age: Circa 1880

Condition: Mostly good for its age, but there are several areas of wear and there has been some age-related corrosion of the dark browns (a natural iron oxide dye).

Notes:  Despite the minor areas of wear, this is supremely collectable. These rugs are considered by experts to be the apex of Caucasian 19th century weaving, which as a group are considered at the very apex of all global tribal weaving, from whichever era. The very singular design of these 'Eaglestar' or 'sunburst' Kazaks is thought to derive from 17th century Caucasian 'dragon' rugs. However, Caucasian rugs of the 19th century are held in higher regard than earlier Caucasians - a bizarre 'reverse-evolution' syndrome. Earlier rugs were more elaborate and fussy, but with the spread of a more orthodox Islam throughout the region, designs became progressively more abstract, simplified and imaginative (partly because the representation of human or animal forms was 'counter-Islamic'). Furthermore, Persian princely influence in the area waned, and with a general decline in wealthy city buyers, Caucasian weavers returned to their tribal roots and wove for their own use, rather than for sale.

Price: $5995