Caucasian rugs are primarily produced as village productions rather than city pieces. Made from materials particular to individual tribal provinces, the rugs of the Caucasus normally display bold geometric designs in primary colours. Styles typical to the Caucasus region are Daghestan, Shirvan, Gendje rugs, Kazakh and Quba rugs. Several carpet styles from contemporary northwestern Iran also fall largely into this bracket, such as the Ardabil rugs.
Antique Shirvan Caucasian rugs of this caliber ceased to be produced around the turn of the 20th century. “With the completion of the Trans-Caucasian railway in the 1870s, the whole area rapidly opened up to European dealers, who were capable of buying on an unprecedented scale, and huge numbers of rugs were transported westwards from Baku and Gendje. As a result of European demand, Shirvan and Kuba rug design in the late 19th century initially became more intricate, with increasingly fine weaves and knots. By the 1890s, this unrelenting demand led to the establishment of carpet workshops where commercial dyes were used. Designs were simplified and became symmetrical. The small, secondary motifs which gave Caucasian rugs much of their charm were excluded, so that any hint of individualism was lost” (Middleton, Michael, Rugs & Carpets: Techniques, Traditions & Designs. Mitchell Beazley, London, 1996, p. 60).
“The Old Art of Weaving Time”
A Curated Selection of Caucasian Rugs by Panos Pamoukoglou and Artistic Interventions by Irini Daniolou Neofytou