Southwest Caucasus, 18th century
204 x 123 cm (6’ 8” x 4’)
Condition: good, pile low in places, foundation partially visible, scattered small old repairs and reweaves, selvedges partially original but slightly damaged
Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool
One of the most instantly recognisable of the rugs in this Austrian consignment is this 18th-century S-bordered red-ground southwest Caucasian (early Kazak) star-medallion and cartouche rug.
It was formerly with Eberhart Herrmann (Seltene Orientteppiche VI, 1984, No. 20), then Heinrich Kirchheim (Orient Stars, 1993, p. 5), and then acquired by the present Austrian consignor at Rippon Boswell in 1999 (HALI 108, p. 125).
If this carpet is truly unique, as suggested in the caption in Orient Stars (pl. 5), it is by virtue of its ground colour rather than its design. It is clearly related to a group of contemporaneous white-ground carpets (see HALI 87, 1996, p. 156), which share many design features, among them pl. 7 in Raoul Tschebulls Kazak: Carpets of the Caucasus, 1971, which has two similar eight-pointed medallions above and below a large central octagon.
A Kazak in the Anton Danker Collection (Meisterstücke orientalischer Knüpfkunst, 1966, pl. 42) features a central star medallion surrounded by small subsidiary motifs very similar to those of the present rug, as does a fragment of another very similar rug (Murray Eiland, Oriental rugs from Pacific Collections, 1990, pl. 172, HALI 59, p. 87).
The field of the present rug is more sparsely decorated than in the comparison pieces, and the bold S border is very similar to that of another Orient Stars piece, the Flames carpet acquired in Konya, originally attributed to Anatolia, but now considered perhaps to be a rare example of early Caucasian village weaving (HALI 82, p. 111).
Estimate: € 20000 - 30000
Availability date: 0000-00-00