As a Caucasian collector for nearly a half-century, to me this little rug is one of the very most exciting pieces of the collection. It is an extremely early rendition of the Surahani Baku design that is entirely unadulterated before it was standardized in later, decorative versions. Individual touches throughout show that this is an immensely personal weaving. The amorous motifs in the rectangles that flank the medallion evoke gazing through a kaleidoscope. Ancient symbolic motifs abound: the miniscule “Z” designs (the Zoroastrian symbol of the sun), the delicate chains of diamonds (man’s inner wealth), and the four “Star of Wisdom” motifs (man’s potential to grow into understanding.)
Ten major and secondary borders create a tour-de-force frame. The innermost mosaic design border is unlike any other I’ve seen with a delicacy that demonstrates the weaver’s absolute mastery of her craft. A serrated “mountain” border appears on the lower end and then is discarded. The color palette is painterly and replete with utterly mature hues. At nearly 170 years old, it has been wonderfully preserved with a deep patina.
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