This is not the focus of Warrug.com, but twenty years ago we picked up this rug, and now it is time to downsize.
The details are in the link: Rug #2122, Antique Daghestan Prayer Rug. The price is $3,500, so contact us if you are interested in purchase, and we will send a PayPal invoice.
The design of this rug is not typical of the type, and the pattern conveys a special sensibility. The figure, represented by the pattern inside the mihrab, is the same as the world, represented by the same lattice pattern outside the mihrab. The part that is different is where the prayers go up from the figure, and the lattice breaks down to series of small dreamy motifs.
Afghan tribal rugs use two techniques to create “halftones”. The techniques are “checkered” knots and “marling”. Marled and checked colors function particularly well in landscape backgrounds.
When individual knots alternate between colors (both vertically and horizontally) the result is a checkered color, like these examples:
^ Rug #1065 ^
^ Rug #840 ^
^ Rug #355 ^
Marled is two colors spun into one thread then woven into a carpet. It is more irregular and “blurry” than checkered colors.
(verso) ^ Rug #779 ^
^ Rug #1484 ^
^ Rug # 1454 ^
^ Rug #41 ^
^ Rug #49 ^
^ Rug #55 ^
Warrug.com gets a lot of traffic, but what was the most viewed file in September 2018? A blog post from 2006 about regular rugs we were selling at the flea market entitled contained one photo that has achieved an obscure internet fame. The Mashad rug we were selling looked just like the rug which The Dude took of the Big Lubowoski (and Maude stole back.)
Well here it is again:
Funny thing is, I do not know who is using the photo, or where on the internet is posted.
The Metropolitan Museum in New York has made a tremendous contribution to the public domain by releasing hundreds of thousands of photos under a Creative Commons Zero license. The Museum has made available a wealth of information licensed for almost any use. Here are a few examples found in a search for “weaving”.
I received an excellent question from our contact form recently about the lack of Red Rugs available for purchase on warrug.com lately. Below is was my response:
Your question about Red Rugs is a good one. Red Rugs were woven by refugees, primarily Turkmen, in Pakistan during the 1990’s. Since the US forced the Taliban from power in 2001 Turkmen refugees have been returning en masse to their traditional homes in Afghanistan, largely because ISAF offers them sufficient protection from the Taliban ethnic cleansing which drove many families to Pakistan during the 1990’s.
The effects of the Turkmen weavers returning to their homes in Afghanistan is, primarily, two fold. First, as refugees, if one was an engineer, one wove carpets. If one was a doctor, one wove carpets. Now the doctors and engineers are returning to their professions, so there are less weavers available to weave any type of rug. Secondly, many Turkmen weavers who wove Red Rugs in Pakistan are now weaving traditional designs or new variations of traditional designs (Khul Mohammadi mostly).
Much of the Pakistan production has moved to Afghanistan (Khul Mohammadi, Kazak, Vegetable Dye ‘Peshawar’) with the returning weavers, but not Red Rugs. I have not seen any Red Rugs produced in Afghanistan since 2001. In short, there is no more supply of Red Rugs. Occasionally I find a few Red Rugs and I post them, but they are scarce.
Lastly, this elimination of a design is not unique to Red Rugs, yet it continues to surprise me. Almost every war rug “pattern” has its moment of production, which then fades or stops. What is freely available one year, is totally unavailable the next year. Soviet Exodus rugs are one example and WTC rugs to a lesser degree.
Again, thank you for your question. Please write back if you have any further questions or comments.
Through the trade of regular rugs, and confirmed by ‘the literature’, I’ve learned this type of rug is called Latif Khel.
I am told that in the 1960 and 1970’s Latif Khel were the bulk of the Baluchi produciton, and that Latif Khels were the top quality. Furthermore, that now they constitute a very small percentage of total Baluch sajada production.
First Quality Latif Chel Prayer rug
This rug is extremely fine wool and weave. Note the similarity with color and medallions to this war rug. The flat wool sevedge is the same in this Latif Khel and war rug #1011 also. The weft substitution kilim on this rug, particularly the bottom end, are exclusive to Latif Khel rugs. This rug also has a Seh Mihrabi element in the three white arches at top, as well as four white boxes at top and bottom of field. As a sidelight, now there is a name for Baluchi rugs with the ‘slot car track’ border, like this rug; which is analagous to Kleiber’s Afghanistan page 100.
The field color is midnight blue with a band of abrash. Willful use of abrash will be the subject of a future post.
Second quality Latif Khel rug with Eight Lobed Medallions
First Quality Latif Chel War Rug #1011 (private collection)
This Mario Rug in the style of Super Mario Brother 3 shows Mario riding a white horse.
The horseman is the original figurative image found in carpets. Horsemen are found in the wolrd’s oldest carpet, the Pazyrik, from the 5th century BC. This ancient image, the horsemen, coupled with an icon of digital culture, Mario, is beautiful.
More images of the Mario Rug here.
The original post of this rug, years ago, including size, structure, photos, and description is here.
This rug is on loan to an exhibition at The Miami University Art Museum. The exhibition will feature approximately 70 war rugs that warrug.com is honored to have lent to the museum. More exhibition information, including dates for symposium and gallery talk by Kevin Sudeith, here
Note: This is a tribal rug, reflecting one weavers artistic vision. This rug was selected, with 25-30 others, from a collection of traditional design Afghan Baluchi rugs from Herat and Farah. All the other rugs were of traditional designs bearing no war motifs or western images.
More rugs here.