Warp: wool, ivory with a few light brown threads, Z3S, hardly undulating
Weft: 2 shoots, white cotton, Z2S, undulating
Pile: wool, Z2S, sometimes single strands of light grey and violet, symmetrical inclining to the right, H3.0 x V3.9/cm.
Remarks: sometimes irregular knotting; to compensate at times one or other of the loops of a knot is passed around two warps
This rug is remarkable both for the field design and for its border. The combination of the floral meander border design with its execution in two tones of pink appears in the well-known Seychour rugs of the nineteenth century. The proportions here are however considerably more open, which is usually considered an early feature in Caucasian rugs, making a date of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century most probable. Schürmann dates the rug to the 17th/18th century, but at this date it would have no stylistic counterparts at all within the known corpus of carpets.
The field design shows clearly the influence of South Persian 'vase' carpets of the seventeenth century. Various other instances of this movement of designs from 17th century Kirman to 18th century North West Persia can be observed within the Bernheimer Collection (cf. Christie's, 14 February 1996, lots 59 and 151 for example), but rarely can it be seen as clearly as here having travelled well into the Caucasus. As ever in the later developments the design has been simplified and made more angular, while at the same time having less variation within the individual motifs. Nevertheless the influence of rugs such as one in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Martin, F.R.: A History of Oriental Carpets before 1800, Vienna, 1908, p.87, fig.185) is very clearly observable.
This rug appears to be unique in the publications of Caucasian rugs, its design and colouring providing a fascinating illustration of the weavings of the Northern Caucasus at this formative stage.