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Red War Rugs

icon featuring Afghan rugicon featuring Afghan rug
icon featuring Afghan rugicon featuring Afghan rug
icon featuring Afghan rugicon featuring Afghan rug
icon featuring Afghan rugicon featuring Afghan rug
icon featuring Afghan rugicon featuring Afghan rug
"...they offer images of 21st-century realities, including our own, ABSOLUTELY worth pondering" - New York Times
The 1997 Look!

Please click a war rug's picture, title, or number for details

Pink Field Ten Tank Rug
With a deep blue border and muted reds and browns for the cars, this rug makes the center truly pop. The muted reds paired in the center with the bright pink thread form an intricate sequence of shapes and patterns that gives this rug a delightfully engrossing aesthetic.

Tyne River Veiw, Newcastle, En. Afghan rug with cars
Straightforward depiction of lines of cars crossing the Bosphorus Bridge with buildings and landscaping in the background. Red, deep blue, green, light yellow, and orange make up the palette.
Orange, red, and blue flowers border the composition, which is then bordered by a blue and white Greek-inspired wave pattern on a red background. A white dotted line backed by a dark brown stripe borders the edge of the rug.

Two Plump Horses Rug
An Afghan horse rug inspired by Iranian design-- three tall figures stand in the center of the rug flanked by flocks of chickens. The top and bottom of the rug sport plump brown horses ridden by dark figures. Four red lions mark each corner of the field.
The main border is comprised of red and black square medallions unique to this type of rug, bordered by two black and red swirling guard stripes.
Some red dye bleeding in the main field of the rug. Very small areas of moth damage are visible in the top right corner, bottom right and left corners, and top center of the rug. Quarter-sized spot of moth damage in the bottom center.

Burgundy Red Afghan Rug with Planes

Vine Border Afghan Province Rug with Blue Field (Exhibition #26)
Afghan province map rug showing some roads. Dated clearly 1385 which is 2007 in western calendar.

Spare Afghan Map Rug with Herati Border (Exhibition History)
The red field in this rug is uncommonly spare. This rug has one very rare feature. Two blue beads are sewn into the selvedges: on the left hand selvedge, about half way between top and bottom, and on the right selvedge about one foot from top. The border is very traditional and a type not often found on Afghan province map rugs. There are no war motifs in this rug.

Iraq WTC Rug

White Field War Rug with Fighter Jets (hole in back see pics)
This rug is an iteration of an earlier pattern and features some unique color combinations: Bright orange with lime green mark the borders with maroon, purple, red, turquoise, and blues create the pattern in the field. The colors are all rich and vivid. 5 alternating columns of jet fighters and unknown geometric shapes make up the field.
Small hole in top left.

Giant Iraq War Rug
Iraq map showing American weapons and neighboring countries. Border from earlier designs. The attack helicopters and humvee are remarkably well drawn in these rugs. These are the first Afghan war rugs not representing Afghanistan. The vocabulary is constant but the subject has changed. These rugs demonstrate the degree to which war rugs have become an established vernacular in Afghan art.

Clock Tower with Helicopters 1 War Rug
This is a new design in the past few years. Nigel Lendon, Max Allen and Kevin Sudeith have debated the monument shown. Sudeith maintains that it is a recently built monument built in a traffic circle in Herat, Afghanistan. Several rugs in our most recent shipment show this monument from several angles. This rug, and one similar example (link), are the best. The helicopters in the top right corner are unique to these two carpets. The helicopters ad excellent scale to whole rug. The emerald green in the cars in the foreground unusual material and doesn't feel like wool. The same material is marled into the first green and tan line on the top edge of the foreground roadway. The variety of marled colors give depth to pictorial space in this landscape rug. The geometric renderings of buildings is particular to these pictorial rugs from western Afghanistan.

Simply put, this rug (and its mate) are the best contemporary war rugs. This rug is great design with timely imagery.

For more information on pictorial war rugs please order Kevin Sudeith's book on the subject.

Masood Prayer Rug
New condition. This is an example of what Kevin Sudeith has duped, 'the feedback loop' where public discussions of war rugs sparks new iterations of these designs. Discussion on Nigel Lendon's blog.

Afghan - Soviet - US - Weapon Inventory War Rug

Fountain War Rug
Very good condition overall. The colors have a Mushwani flavor, but this is probably a Taimani rug given its structure and use of white. This design looks to be a copy of this pattern

Classic and Vintage Ten Tank War Rug
This blue and orange ten tank (it actually has 12 tanks) war rug has an orangey hue to it, especially in the field. The border consists of five thinner borders alternating between brown wave-shapes and chains of brown and orange flowers.
Similar to this rug but more standard quality.

Six Abstract Horseback Riders Afghan War Rgu
(Also marked with tag 1631) This horseman rug is a great contrast to rug 2017 and shows the evolution of pattern from detailed and realistic to simplified and abstracted. The horses are headless and the figures riding them look more like cricket bats. The other animals are as abstracted, the deer have lizard-like spiked backs and teeth, and the goats and other animals stand alert with their tails stiff.

15 Tank War Rug
This rug features rows of 15 multicolored tanks with small rifles, and small plant motifs between them. The three tanks at the top of the rug are partially cut off and only show the bottoms of the tracks. There are some really nice colors in this rug including some bright greens, electric bues, and reds.
Similar diagonally shaped multicolored border design to this fine rug.

On Hold: Dark Blue Field Drone Rug
New condition. Good wool, great abrash.

Green Reaper Rug
Very unusual green rug.

The green wool is a different texture from the red wool in the airplane. Perhaps the goal was a light sky blue.

Light Blue Drone Medallion War Rug -2020
This rug is in new, perfect condition. The knotting is excellent and the wool is very good hand spun Ghazni wool. Recently, though, warrug.com learned that some of the best hand spun wool in Afghan "Chobi" rugs is imported from Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

This rug is surprisingly heavy from its dense, thick wool and somewhat long pile.

Very Early Afghanistan as Grenade with Pin Pulled
This is an early example of this important design, but it has several areas of repaired damage.

A very interesting view of possibly the Kabul airport and the surrounding cityscape. In the center of the rug is a curiously grenade-like shape, almost like a grenade with its pin pulled. Planes and helicopters sit around the center on a blue background, and the top and bottom thirds of the rug depict an almost mirrored view of the surrounding town. The border includes some possibly Greek-inspired blue, olive, and white designs.
A few spots on this rug have been repaired-- one area in the bottom center, and another in the very center of the rug.

Buff Field Flower Medallion Helicopter War Rug
This rug is subtle and fascinating. The colors are understated while the pattern keeps your eyes moving across the entire piece. The border is classic and solid, yet the center imagery is a bit more unusual and frenetic. The simple helicopters are common to this style of rug. What is unusual are the little planes sprinkled between the choppers and mandala-like floral designs. The rugs shape is imperfect, with one end wider than the other.

Washed Two Ewer Two Big Tank War Rug
This two ewer war rug is marked with two large tanks in the center and a row of red, brown, and green rifles dividing the two halves of the rug.

The checkered coloration of the ewers is echoed in the design and coloration of the grenades in the smaller intricate border. Detailed drawings of tanks, rifles, and helicopters form the main border on a pale yellow background.

Color runs throughout. Mostly in the corners.

Early Rug with AK47

WTC Afghan Rug with crosses where planes hit.

Baluchi Runner War Rug (Pair 2/2)
Paired with 1310
1061 This earthy rug features rows of helicopters, tanks, and branches of flowers. The border is made up of rows of flowers and connected geometric shapes. Branches with flowers line the outside of the field.

Red Rug with Najibullah Structure
This is the mate for rug 1522. Both are woven at the same time and place with same wool and same structure.

World Map Rug with Shortened Names
This rug features a detailed map of the world, complete with names of each country, oceans, and labeled latitude and longitude lines. The eastern end of Russia and New Zealand are featured twice on the map, once on the right side and again on the left where it wraps around.
Typical of these world maps, the border consists of the flags of the world, however most of the names are abbreviated with '...'.

Red Rug with Bullet Border
Excellent new condition. Like the other Red Rugs currently available on WarRug.com these rugs have been in a dealer's warehouse since they were woven in 1990's.
The green and red combination in this rug makes it unique and outstanding. Also the small patterns within the different images tie the whole rug together. Also the small tanks are one of the best images in all red rugs.

AK-74 and Rocket Launchers
This is a second generation AK74 Red Rug. The first ones were woven in the mid 1990's and they were a small sub-group of the red rugs.

Blue Elephant foot Bokara Drone War Rug
New condition. Excellent wool tightly woven. Natural colors on hand spun wool.

2004 Large Iraq Rug (Exhibition #26)
Iraq Rug Large, perfect new condition. Thick soft pile. Note misspelling in ""Welcome""

NFS Dark Blue Field Reaper Drone War Rug - Temple
This rug has been taken from Warrug's reserve stock in July 2021.

Red white and blue coloration, coupled with the red, white, and blue border ads complexity to this rug. The abrash of the vegetal colors is shimmers beautifully.
The first group of drone rugs only included three pieces. This rug is part of the second group of 16 rugs.

Clock Tower War Rug
This rug is very unusual. The wool is very good. The design is unique. It appears to be an adaptation of designs like This war rug #1465 or Plate 36 in Kevin Sudeith's first book about war rugs.. The large clock is unusual relative to similar designs. The white of the tower from which the clock hangs is understated. The foreground of this rug is abstracted, and there are war motifs like helicopters and rifles, scattered throughout the foreground.

The structure of this rug is reminiscent of rugs like war rug #26. It is possible that both of these rugs represent the work of the same weaver some 10 years apart.

The washing of this rug was not totally successful, for one can see some red discoloration in the lighter tans and whites, please see photos. Also note the light purple is an old fashioned analine dye, and significantly tip faded. Most synthetic dyes used in carpets today are no longer analine, but my understanding is that the particular purple in this rug is analyne. Condition notes aside, this is an interesting rug.

One of the subtle, and important, ways I judge rugs is by their weight. The best rugs have a density lacking in more poorly made rugs. Its not so much about knot count, because this rugs knotting is not particularly fine, but when I finished inventorying it and laid it back on the pile I noticed it had that density that speaks so well of rugs.

Washed Double Landscape with Towers War Rug
Important early landscape rug from a good collection, but a dealer who shall remain nameless, 'tea washed' it.

This rug features a landscape with two large gridded minarets, possibly the Minaret of Jam. Smaller buildings sit throughout the rug with tall towers while a road snakes down the center. At the top and bottom of the rug sit faded subtle areas with mountains packed with helicopters and planes.
Although this rug has been washed, the bright orange and red are still vibrant and the overall color scheme of the rug is really nice.
There is a small section of repair in the bottom left side of the fringe which isn't very well done craftsmanship wise.

Rows of Small Weapons White Grenade War Rug
The latest and best photos are at the bottom.
This is a very textural rug. There is little negative space, rows of tanks, grenades, rifles, and small animals fill most of the space all the way up to the thin zig-zag border.
The bright white used in the grenades and rifles makes them pop from the otherwise dark colors of the rug. About 1/6 of the way up the rug, the background shifts from blue to a very dark navy, almost black.

Excellent Quality Green Border Ewer War Rug
Strong design. Note the superb luster of this rugs wool. Design alternates between rows of two tanks with text inside and three large ewers. Throughout the negative space sit grenades and small flowers, and the whole field is surrounded by an open guard stripe of linked flowers and leaves.
The border consists of tanks, rifles, and helicopters on a green background. The mustard yellow and bright orange accents pop off of the olive green and navy blues.

Large Scale Bokara Drone War Rug
This is one of two rugs seen by warrug.com which employ a classic Bokara or Elephants Foot design, but rather than traditional tribal emblems this rug uses a major and minor guls made from drones.

The other rug of this design is herethis drone configuration is seen in this rug and this similar similar this rug

The condition is new and excellent.

Dated (1994) Afghan Map War Rug
http://www.iconophilia.net/the-afghan-modern-rkd/ https://rugsofwar.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/the-afghan-modern-its-anonymous-authors-and-the-question-of-collective-agency/ This is a beautiful Afghan Map rug featuring the different labeled provinces of Afghanistan with bright colors. Two potted plants sit above and below the map and collections of brown and tan flowers are scattered throughout the negative space. Small planes sit inside some of the provinces, solidifying this as a war rug.

UXO Red Field. Large Size Unexploded Ordnance Afghan War Rug
This rug, and the group of which it is a part, are all exceptionally well made from the best quality materials. The designs are well organized with a strong composition and design. Borders are beautiful, particularly the corner motifs.

This new group of unexploded ordnance rugs are uncommonly beautiful. The design is strong and related, apparently, to these rugs from the Omar Mine Museum: #2024 Unexploded Ordnance Warning Rug, and this absolute gem, #451 Do Not Touch War Rug

The subject matter and layout, though, is where the similarities end, for rugs #451 and #2024 are classic "Baluchi" rugs most likely woven around Herat in Western Afghanistan, whereas the new group of rugs are woven in the "Chobi" or "Vegetal Dye Peshawar" style with Turkmen borders. We contacted OMAR about their rugs, but they were not forthcoming, and the new rugs bear no OMAR emblem like the earlier rugs.

A note about the photography: the step ladder was not tall enough to get a square shot of the whole big rugs. The rugs are square although the photos are not.

Early Large Format Landscape Afghan War Rug
Price on request

The condition of this rug is excellent and virtually new despite its age. The rhythmic array of plants drawn in diverse styles creates a beautiful visual rhythm drawing the viewer's eye around the carpet. The designs blends abstract imagery with rhythmic patterning.

The colors are classic Taimani with red, blue, burgundy, and an array of marled colors which give depth to the landscape.

The simply drawn armor arrayed along a road in a column is common in 1980's war rugs.

The architecture in the corners is an interesting accent, and the English characters suggest the rug is from later in the 1980's.

The border features white sumac behind the pile medallions which is called gul-i-birjista.

Slight bleeding of rust color into blue and white marled sky, otherwise condition is excellent.

To purchase a war rug please contact or call us at 800-781-0153.

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