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Posted on: November 3, 2020

Antique Spotlight – Antique Kazak Runner

This week we discuss the history behind this soft and supple antique Kazak runner from 1880. It is composed of a handspun, vegetable-dyed wool pile on a cotton warp. Better yet, it remains in great antique condition all these decades later. Nonetheless, the deep-rooted history behind this 4’2″ by 10’11” runner is deciphered through its design.

Caucasian rugs like this antique Kazak runner are referred to as “eagle” or “sunburst” Kazak rugs. This alludes to the cross-like medallions in the carpet’s central field. The t-shaped form implies the weaver’s religious beliefs; she came from a Christian Armenian family. As is the case with many Persian motifs, however, this one traces its roots back to Zoroastrianism. The “sunburst” form is linked to the fundamental importance that the religion places on light and fire. The region’s Zoroastrian roots also shine through in the design’s representation of the sacred four elements – earth, wind, water, and fire.

Furthermore, the carpet’s geometric composition achieves an organic fluidity through its floral motifs and sophisticated use of color. Flowers of various sizes are woven into both the field as well as the carpet’s multi-banded border. The vibrant colors throughout the piece are typical of Kazak rugs. The use of light and deep blues, earthy reds, subtle greens, and contrasting yellows successfully highlights the bold geometric patterns. Ultimately, the design’s well-executed balance in its proportioning of intricate geometric patterns provides flexibility with a layer of warmth and sophistication to any room.

You can find this timeless antique Kazak runner on our 1stdibs page! Here you will see a selection of Orley Shabahang‘s highly reputable antique collection alongside some of our more modern and contemporary designs. Our wide array of high quality styles is sure to provide the perfect functional artwork for your floor.