Antique Caucasian Kazak | 4ft 5in x 6ft 1in, 3rd quarter, 19th century

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Kazak rugs woven by nomadic tribesmen who inhabited the highest reaches of the Caucasus Mountains are especially dear to my heart. Their folkloric vigor and unabashed spontaneity communicate the infectious joie de vivre  of their creators living in a foreboding, yet celestially beautiful setting. This irrepressibly charming piece employs deeply abstracted renditions of traditional symbolic motifs in a manner that is at once freeform and harmonious ordered.

In the rug’s field, the weaver features a pair of intentionally misshapen “Wheel of Life” mandalas, symbolizing man’s ever-changing fortune, surrounding by her impressions of some of the things that were precious to her. The twinkling stars visible in the depth of night, kites floating in the mountain sky, the comb she used to help create her rugs and her husband carrying barrels of water on his shoulders are all depicted in the simplest of terms. A complex series of highly imaginative borders in dazzling hues frame the scene.

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