Karabagh
4' 3" x 12' 3"
Circa 1880
South Caucasus
Ref no. 10
Wool
Karabagh #1
Karabagh - 4' 3" x 12' 3"
Rugs from the Karabagh region of the southern Caucasus sometimes display marked affinities to western European decorative arts, especially when woven by Armenians, like this example. The field consists of an allover array of staggered "turtle" medallions. These may be derived from the oval arabesque medallions well known in Persian and Turkish rugs, but here they also display a clear similarity to the oval "cartouches" of European Baroque and Rococo d├ęcor, above all those in the European tapestry rugs of the Aubusson type. On this rug the interior of each medallion contains small sprays of naturalistic plants and flowers, also of western derivation. This example displays a palate typical for such Karabagh rugs - soft violet or magenta, light lavender pinks, pale olive green, and ivory set off dramatically against a black ground. The richness of the field contrasts effectively with the relative simplicity of the single, narrow border.

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