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Your Antique Caucasian Rug - From Legends And Lost Traditions

Aug 21, 2007
In the past Emperors, Kings and Tsars have made their fair share of mistakes throughout history, however If it weren't for them we wouldn't have the wisdom and the power to learn from the past. One of the most inexplicable and pointless mistakes was the one made by the Soviet Union in 1920 when they destroyed the future of a prosperous and promising rug-weaving culture in the area of Caucasus. Even nowadays the people from the three countries in that area Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are still trying to rediscover the skill and artisan-ship of their ancestors who made the antique Caucasian rug an art form.

As it stands the only truly remarkable authentic Caucasian rugs have antiquity status; there are some excellent examples of the antique Caucasian rug which are adored by antique dealers and collectors the world over. These rugs date back to the 19th century, and are in a more or less flawless state.

The weavers from Caucasus learned the art of rug-making in the 16th and 17th centuries from the Persians and like all people living in mountainous areas, they conserved their legacy of mastering the carpet-weaving craft, by passing down their knowledge from generation to generation. In time, their style was influenced by Persian, Turkish, Anatolian or Chinese styles; a good example of this is the frequently-used 'S' shape symbolizing a dragon, taking a strong influence from the Far East.

Russian Communists collectivized the carpet-weaving craft and transformed it into a real industry in the hope of reducing the cost by dyeing them chemically and using mechanical looms. Some of those carpets are still available today and are categorized as semi-antique rugs to highlight the fact that even if they are old, however they are of inferior quality.

After 1920 there were still some women who continued making their own hand-made carpets to continue the tradition of giving rugs as wedding gifts to their children. The cradle of these beautiful antique Caucasian rugs lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, South from Russia. The majority of the rugs come from Azerbaijan, however it is difficult to pin point them exactly as there are no less than 350 tribes speaking more than 150 dialects in this area but the Caucasian rug represent real links between this immense diversity.

There are 5 main antique Caucasian rug styles: Kuba, hirvan, Kazak, Baku Cabistan and Karabaugh, but because of the fact that there are lots of designs, standards, qualities and patterns, the actual types and sub-types are quite hard to identify.

A antique Caucasian rug is a hand knotted rug with strong colors and bold geometrical patterns being the typical characteristics. The palette consists of strong red, dark blue, green, black, beige, purple and yellow and the patterns are made up by geometric shapes with stripes, crosses, octagons and hexagons, triangles and animals, crabs and spiders and human figures. An antique Caucasian rug generally has one central medallion, multiple medallions or an all-over design, but concentric patterns are most common, for instance, a certain shape can be found in the center of a larger similar or different shape. Some antique Caucasian area rugs have very dense and intricate geometrical patterns. The better part of them are made entirely of wool, but some have a cotton base.

There is nothing compared to the feeling of having such an alluring, eye-catching piece of authentic Caucasian skill and artisan-ship right in front of your eyes, knowing that it has traveled through centuries just to bedeck your house!
About the Author
Arnold Hexden is known for his interesting articles on Persian and Oriental Rugs . Find out more by viewing Dream Antique Rugs together with

more interesting articles at his website which is at http://www.dreamantiquerugs.com/
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