Pictorial War Carpets

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Traditional Designs Showing Martial Motifs in Historical Context
Afghan Rugs featuring Landscape and Figurative Designs
Washed Double Landscape with Towers War Rug Afghan Rug
Washed Double Landscape with Towers War Rug
Important early landscape rug from a good collection, but a dealer who shall remain nameless, 'tea washed' it.

This rug features a landscape with two large gridded minarets, possibly the Minaret of Jam. Smaller buildings sit throughout the rug with tall towers while a road snakes down the center. At the top and bottom of the rug sit faded subtle areas with mountains packed with helicopters and planes.
Although this rug has been washed, the bright orange and red are still vibrant and the overall color scheme of the rug is really nice.
There is a small section of repair in the bottom left side of the fringe which isn't very well done craftsmanship wise.
ID: 2064

$3000

38 x 71 inches
96 x 180 cm
Masood Prayer Rug Afghan Rug
Masood Prayer Rug
New condition. This is an example of what Kevin Sudeith has duped, 'the feedback loop' where public discussions of war rugs sparks new iterations of these designs. Discussion on Nigel Lendon's blog.
ID: 1643

$750

36 x 51 inches
92 x 130 cm
Spare Afghan Map Rug with Herati Border (Exhibition History) Afghan Rug
Spare Afghan Map Rug with Herati Border (Exhibition History)
The red field in this rug is uncommonly spare. This rug has one very rare feature. Two blue beads are sewn into the selvedges: on the left hand selvedge, about half way between top and bottom, and on the right selvedge about one foot from top. The border is very traditional and a type not often found on Afghan province map rugs. There are no war motifs in this rug.
ID: 1492

$475

32 x 48 inches
81 x 122 cm
Clock Tower War Rug Afghan Rug
Clock Tower War Rug
This rug is very unusual. The wool is very good. The design is unique. It appears to be an adaptation of designs like This war rug #1465 or Plate 36 in Kevin Sudeith's first book about war rugs.. The large clock is unusual relative to similar designs. The white of the tower from which the clock hangs is understated. The foreground of this rug is abstracted, and there are war motifs like helicopters and rifles, scattered throughout the foreground.

The structure of this rug is reminiscent of rugs like war rug #26. It is possible that both of these rugs represent the work of the same weaver some 10 years apart.

The washing of this rug was not totally successful, for one can see some red discoloration in the lighter tans and whites, please see photos. Also note the light purple is an old fashioned analine dye, and significantly tip faded. Most synthetic dyes used in carpets today are no longer analine, but my understanding is that the particular purple in this rug is analyne. Condition notes aside, this is an interesting rug.

One of the subtle, and important, ways I judge rugs is by their weight. The best rugs have a density lacking in more poorly made rugs. Its not so much about knot count, because this rugs knotting is not particularly fine, but when I finished inventorying it and laid it back on the pile I noticed it had that density that speaks so well of rugs.
ID: 1488

$2750

35 x 55 inches
89 x 140 cm
Clock Tower with Helicopters 1 War Rug  Afghan Rug
Clock Tower with Helicopters 1 War Rug
This is a new design in the past few years. Nigel Lendon, Max Allen and Kevin Sudeith have debated the monument shown. Sudeith maintains that it is a recently built monument built in a traffic circle in Herat, Afghanistan. Several rugs in our most recent shipment show this monument from several angles. This rug, and one similar example (link), are the best. The helicopters in the top right corner are unique to these two carpets. The helicopters ad excellent scale to whole rug. The emerald green in the cars in the foreground unusual material and doesn't feel like wool. The same material is marled into the first green and tan line on the top edge of the foreground roadway. The variety of marled colors give depth to pictorial space in this landscape rug. The geometric renderings of buildings is particular to these pictorial rugs from western Afghanistan.


Simply put, this rug (and its mate) are the best contemporary war rugs. This rug is great design with timely imagery.

For more information on pictorial war rugs please order Kevin Sudeith's book on the subject.
ID: 1484

$750

33 x 56 inches
84 x 142 cm
Vine Border Afghan Province Rug with Blue Field (Exhibition #26) Afghan Rug
Vine Border Afghan Province Rug with Blue Field (Exhibition #26)
Afghan province map rug showing some roads. Dated clearly 1385 which is 2007 in western calendar.
ID: 1470

$450

33 x 53 inches
84 x 135 cm
World Map Rug with Shortened Names Afghan Rug
World Map Rug with Shortened Names
This rug features a detailed map of the world, complete with names of each country, oceans, and labeled latitude and longitude lines. The eastern end of Russia and New Zealand are featured twice on the map, once on the right side and again on the left where it wraps around.
Typical of these world maps, the border consists of the flags of the world, however most of the names are abbreviated with '...'.
ID: 1113

$1750

46 x 64 inches
117 x 162 cm
Very Early Afghanistan as Grenade with Pin Pulled Afghan Rug
Very Early Afghanistan as Grenade with Pin Pulled
This is an early example of this important design, but it has several areas of repaired damage.

A very interesting view of possibly the Kabul airport and the surrounding cityscape. In the center of the rug is a curiously grenade-like shape, almost like a grenade with its pin pulled. Planes and helicopters sit around the center on a blue background, and the top and bottom thirds of the rug depict an almost mirrored view of the surrounding town. The border includes some possibly Greek-inspired blue, olive, and white designs.
A few spots on this rug have been repaired-- one area in the bottom center, and another in the very center of the rug.
ID: 917

$1500

32 x 47 inches
80 x 118 cm