Posted on: June 2, 2020
Antique Spotlight – Caucasian Kasim Ushag Carpet
This antique Caucasian Kasim Ushag carpet is a colorful and geometric handwoven tribal rug that looks even more sensational today than it did 140 years ago. Continue reading to learn more about the story behind the rug.
This antique Caucasian Kasim Ushag carpet originated from Karabagh. Today, the Karabagh region spans across Armenia and southwestern Azerbaijan, just north of the Iranian border. This land, however, had recently been ceded from the Persian Qajar dynasty to the Russians when this carpet was woven in 1880. Nonetheless, the influence of Persian rug-making lived on in the region. As such, this carpet is unlike most Caucasian rugs in its fabrication and design.
This handmade antique carpet is a village carpet. Therefore, it was born completely by the hand of its weaver. Its fibers come from handspun organic wool. It has heavier knots than the finer city rugs, a trait aligned with northern Persian tribal rugs. Furthermore, the weaver sourced local vegetable dyes to attain the vibrant blue, soft green, and bright red hues that bring this carpet to life. The weaver balances these colors by grounding them in natural undyed cream, beige and camel tones. The fruits of her labor manifest in this final piece that measures 4’3″ x 7’7″ and is in great antique condition. What is most impressive about village rugs, however, is that their designs are improvisational. The weaver does not follow a pattern but rather creates the design row by row.
The weaver of this Caucasian Kasim Ushag carpet took her inspiration from an amalgamation of Middle Eastern references. The medallion design derived from Anatolian carpets. The serrated “dragon” bands that frame and move around the central medallion allude to similar forms found in Persian Kerman carpets. Finally, the floral motifs are similar to those found in Qashqai carpets. All of these separate pieces come together to create a well-balanced and exquisite rug.