Styles Page

Horsemen War Rugs

Horsemen and Tanks (size approximate)
This blue rug features a mix of horsemen, tanks, and helicopters. The green, red, and brown horses in this rug are actually relatively well defined with short, shirtless men with brown shorts atop them. Grenades, birds, flowers, and smaller horsemen fill out the negative space.
The main border is made up of a mosaic of intricate interlocking geometric shapes with two guard stripes of flowers.

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.

Two Horsemen with Birds Rug
This blue rug features two men riding atop very detailed horses. Another man in a brown robe kneels in the center while two birds sit beside him. The negative space of the field is composed of geometric leaves and vines with several birds spaced throughout.
The border carries on this same geometric motif with green and brown leaf-shapes and diagonal stripes running through.

In late 2021 we have begun to offer rare rugs collected to illustrate how war rugs fit into Afghan rug history. This rug is an example: the seated figure comes from rugs illustrating Omar Khayam stories, and the horsemen hearken back to the oldest of rugs, the Pazyrik.

Abstract Horsemen Rug with Dark Border
This is a newer rug. Pile wool shows stray fibers which were missed by shearer's clippers. Lightest color is undyed wool. Cobalt blue field is contrasted beautifully by the dark Prussian blue border. Bright oranges and reds pop from the rug.
Abstracted horseback riders carrying rifles are the primary motif of this rug. The riders become more abstracted as the eye travels from the bottom of the rug upwards, where the top figure missing its head. An assortment of birds and other animals fill out the rest of the field.

This is another rug offered for the first time in late 2021 which were collected by warrug as examples of styles, patterns, and variations of designs.

This rug is significant because it shows the middle ground of abstraction in horsemen rugs. Horsemen go from totally realistic like this rug, this rug, and this rug. Another variation is a pictorial rug like this horsemen rug drawn from the Afghan currency, the Afghani. This horseman rug is a design more often seen in Iranian Balouch rugs. Some rugs show complete abstracted men on horseback images.

Small Horsemen Rug with Tank, Bus and Helicopters
The horsemen we find in this rug are one of the oldest images in carpets dating back to the oldest rug called the Pazyrik. In the Pazyrik the implication, when combined with the other image , a reindeer, is a hunting scene. In this rug I am reminded of a film interview of Ahmed Shah Masud. The interview was in French and when he was asked his favorite way to get around, ""A horse"", What is his favorite car? ""A horse"". New condition and apparently unused. Rug still has stray extra long pile threads which escaped the shearer's clippers. Moderately abstracted horsemen and images of Afghan buses, one tank, a series of riflesand two helicopters. Natural colored wool border with flower design. Very nice blue field color. Also note the peacocks scattered with guns and abstract designs throughout border.

Old Herati Mosque (size approximate)
This blue Herati rug features a menagerie of animals. Three medallion shapes with peacocks and flowers inside are present and running down the center of the main field. Towards the center of the rugs are four crowned horsemen atop their curiously proportioned horses. In each corner of the rug are collections of animals (maybe a leopard, dog, and one smaller animal). The negative space is filled with flowers, plants, arrows, and other geometric shapes. Flowers border the main field.

Motorcycle War Rug with Horsemen
This is a beautifully made and intricately designed rug. The imagery in this rug is detailed and well rendered– the horses, antelope, large cats, birds, and other figures are well proportioned and intricately drawn especially compared to other similar horsemen rugs. The figures are dramatically posed; horsemen sit on their horses holding rifles, while antelope are ambushed by big cats. The border is composed of weaving vines and brightly colored leaves with large birds perched. Small medallions are visible in the center of the side borders as well as in the top and bottom.
There is unfortunately some small moth damage at the top of the rug, as well as some dark staining from before this rug was aquired by warrug.com

Condition note January 2024
Spot of scmutz to the right of the top right pair of chickens. Brown tar like stuff on top left lion tackling dear. Also spot of tar like stuff on inner buard strip above left most chickens
. Some low pile.

Four Bird Pattern with Green Horses
This uniquely colored rug has a field filled with different living figures, including horses, birds, lions, figures in skirts, as well as jets and flowers. Bright pink accents dot the rug and contrast nicely with the bright orange and chartreuse elsewhere.
The inner border consists of tanks with guns raised with small abstract helicopters dispersed throughout. The outer border is made up from three smaller sections.

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.

Mario Brothers Horseman Rug Also rug ID # 57
rug #57

This is a great rug. The guys on horseback appear to have riding crops and not Kalashnikovs. The horsemen must be influence by Nintendo's ""Super Mario Brothers"". The drawings are too clear to be coincidence. A rug with a sense of humor, gotta love it.
This rug has a nice pattern, good drawing and attractive colors. The busy border contrasts nicely with the bolder field. The white vertical stripes ad graphic punch. The horses are beautifully drawn and show very powerful animals.
The blue field Is particularly deep and rich, and provides an excellent contrast to the lighter and brighter colors used in the motifs.
The staff at warrug.com has fought furiously to have this rug kept in the office.
The pile of this rug is longer and softer than most Herati rugs.

Horseman Pictorial
This is a rug about Afghan Mujahadeen cavalry. Men on horseback is a very old pattern both in Afghanistan and Iran. There are hunting rugs with men with swords and bow and arrow. There are portrait rugs of kings on horseback, as well as war rugs with men with Kalashnikovs on horseback. We have heard, but not seen, that there are rugs depicting US special forces on horseback. There was a unit of US who have reached mythical status in Afghanistan for the fighting they did on horseback in 2001.
This is an older, probably Pakistani rug, but it may be from northern Afghanistan. It is very finely knotted, it has nice colors, and it has good soft wool. The only drawback is that it needs to be washed.
Similar to this image.

Mario Brother's War Rug Also Rug ID # 137
Also rug #137

The description below is for another rug. Which one?

This is the best Chechen war rug I have seen. The design and square format complement each other perfectly. This rug does not have some of the funkiness of some Chechens like uneven borders. This rug lays flat, is square, the borders are all even. Chechens are the strongest war rugs I know. Very densely knotted with Turkish knots. These rugs will wear like nails.
Regarding design. Colors go well together. I like the strong red with the soft cerulean blue in the main medallion. The drawing of the tanks is nice, they look low slung and fast. Incorporation of vases, sugar bowls, and rockets is great.

Bright Colored Hunting Afghan War Rug
Very unusual design. Hunting rugs are a common Afghan style but helicopters make it unusual. Very fine wool and keen attention to abstract design.