Kuba rug

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Condition Report

Absolutely original condition with full pile and end finished. 17 naturally dyed colors. The selvedges were expertly and lovingly restored many year back.


Property of Peter Pap Oriental Rugs of San Francisco Inc.



Rug ID



Persian design traditions had a formative influence on the development of Caucasian village rugs. Much of the Caucasus were part of the Persian empire until the early 19th century, when czarist Russia began to expand south into the region. This exceptional piece is a bit of an anomaly. While the crab, or ‘harshang,’ border may be traced to post-Classical Persian weaving of the 18th century (as is typical for much of the design repertoire of east Caucasian rugs of the 19th century), the field reflects an earlier influence from the classical court traditions of 15th and 16th century Northwest Persian carpets. In this rug, we see colorful cloud-band forms that alter with geometric pendants in an arrangement that harkens back to borders we see in Tabriz court carpets of circa 1500. This rare group of Persian weavings is known through fewer than five examples, three of which are in collections in Italy and one in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Fragments of others have reportedly been found recently in Tibet. This is not to say that the composition of this Kuba rug is unique. It belongs to a rare white-ground group, of which several are known. That said, this is the finest known and most well executed of the group. Remarkably, the rug displays no fewer than seventeen distinct colors and shades, including four blues, three greens, two reds, two oranges, a pink, an aubergine and a gold. These harmonious hues culminate in a symphony of color that radiates from the ivory ground. The weave blends soft but sturdy wool with a distinctly depressed warp, which creates a tight ripple on the back. Both for its visual and tactile superiority, this is a masterpiece of Caucasian village weaving.