Antique Caucasian Kazak | 4ft by 6ft 2in, late 19th century

 

 

 


Even with the many more “important” rugs in the Treasury, this piece stands out through its unpretentiousness and sweetness. Clearly a personal artistic exploration, it uses virtually none of the archetypal designs traditional to Kazak rugs. Instead, it departs into more original, beautifully free form overscale motifs that convey a welcome sense of exuberance and naiveté.

At the same time, its weaver so highly skilled that she could work at least in part improvisationally. She made no attempt to center its two diamond medallions, creating extra space at the top of the field that is taken up with a small diamond form. The use of the two partial cruciform motifs that are bisected by the upper border give the sense that the entire composition is floating skyward.

The main border is refreshingly elemental. It is anything but repetitive, as almost every blossom is drawn in a new way with a different arrangement of colors. Its colors communicate further the unabashed joyfulness of the entire rug. The piece has clearly been well loved, as it comes to us in heavier pile condition.

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