Red War Rugs

"...they offer images of 21st-century realities, including our own, ABSOLUTELY worth pondering" - New York Times
Please click a war rug's picture, title, or number for details.

Blue F16 Jet Fighter Rug NFS
Very rare rug in excellent condition. Please contact us for the price.
The F-16 jets in this rug are actually labeled 'F 16' (albeit backwards) making this a very unique rug. The border is an interesting floral pattern with alternating green branches and small bunches of red and green flowers.
Small less-than-a-quarter-sized spot of moth damage in the center.
1067
$0

Blue Plane Pattern on Tan Field War Rug
This rug features inventive drawing and beautiful colors. The contrast between the mannered patterning on the tanks contrasts beautifully with the busy field full of small planes and traditional motifs.
1552
$225

Red Background Boxy Tank
The deep blue base of this rug is intertwined with beautiful dark brown figures of planes and cars. However, the contrast provided by the bright pink threading is the real standout aspect of the rug. The vibrance of the pink gives life to all the images contained within its boundaries in a way that is incredible and adds greatly to the overall quality of this piece.
This rug is densely knotted with small singles and clipped long, so it has a dense, soft feeling.
1542
$295

Pink Field Ten Tank Rug
With a deep blue border and muted reds and browns for the cars, this rug makes the center truly pop. The muted reds paired in the center with the bright pink thread form an intricate sequence of shapes and patterns that gives this rug a delightfully engrossing aesthetic.
1540
$295

Dark Blue War Rug with Multi-colored Air Planes
The brightly colored airplanes in the background of this rug make it stand out. The tanks are rendered in the classic "Ten Tank" style and colors, but the light planes make it really sing. The light blue colors are very nice and contrast beautifully with the dark field and its rich abrash. The way that lightly colored cars are dispersed around the border works very well and gives this piece a strong rhythm.
1550
$298

Yellow Highlights Ten Tank Rug
Though one would think the dark blue used throughout the rug would make it an overall very drab piece, the use of bright threading throughout actually gives this piece a nice sense of liveliness. The 8 pointed stars on the border, flanked by the 8 pointed pink starbursts and the light brown chevrons also give the piece a beautiful sense of motion in an otherwise static piece
1541
$325

Two Vases with Airplanes
Carpet is in new condition. Purchased in 2003
1642
$375

Dark blue rug with subtle brown helicopter and car patter/trim
This is a contemporary Afghan war rug (2010) featuring an unusual design. Car borders have become increasingly common on a wide group of different patterns. This is one of the most interesting rugs to arrive with the last shipment. The light on dark composition works well, as does the blue and brown combination.
1554
$395

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.
1470
$450

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.
1488
$475

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.
1492
$475

Iraq WTC Rug
New
1672
$525

Red Rug with Magenta Accents
This Red War Rug is warm and vibrant. The Kalashnikovs and tanks depicted have pops of a bright fuchsia. Overall, the colors are quite contradictory to the imagery. A single row of rainbow bullets line the edges. The reason for the numbers is not totally understood but are believed to be an arbitrary list of what the Pakistani women hypothesized to be on the sides of Russian tanks.
1579
$625

Cool Abrash War Rug
This subtle rug uses deep blues and dark browns to provide a very cool tone wherever it's placed. However, the bright orange thread used throughout proves to be a beautiful highlight, lending the piece a wonderful sense of contrast.
1544
$650

Blue Ten Tank Rug with Bright Red Airplanes
New condition piece with good colors. Car border indicates the 2000's. The red airplanes really pop on blue field while brown give a good chromatic foundation. The writing on the sides of the tanks says, "tank", but it has become abstracted in this example.
1528
$675

color flowers war rug
The three large medallions running down the center of this rug are typical of this style of rug. Brown fighter jets run down the sides of the medallions (the jets on the bottom have been compressed) between squares of color.
The border is composed of large multicolored floral medallions separated from the field by a brown wave pattern.
468
$695

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.
1484
$750

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.
1643
$750

Two Ewer Two Big Tank War Rug
This two ewer war rug is marked with two large tanks in the center and a row of red, brown, and green rifles dividing the two halves of the rug.
The checkered coloration of the ewers is echoed in the design and coloration of the grenades in the smaller intricate border. Detailed drawings of tanks, rifles, and helicopters form the main border on a pale yellow background.
Color runs throughout. Mostly in the corners. (soda)
1065
$750

Good Quality Large Size Blue Ten Tank Rug
This is a classic version of this design. Years ago, most of these rugs were brown on brown; but the blue and brown work better together. The blue and brown compliment each other well within a limited value range (range of light and dark) The color palette is limited and very subtle. The five borders are typical of this type.
1529
$775

Stylized Helicopters War Rug
New condition. The first of these rugs was woven in the 1980's. This is a very good condition example. The colors are simple and complimentary. The design is subtle but unmistakable.
954
$950

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.
917
$1500

Buff Field Flower Medallion Helicopter War Rug
This rug is subtle and fascinating. The colors are understated while the pattern keeps your eyes moving across the entire piece. The border is classic and solid, yet the center imagery is a bit more unusual and frenetic. The simple helicopters are common to this style of rug. What is unusual are the little planes sprinkled between the choppers and mandala-like floral designs. The rugs shape is imperfect, with one end wider than the other.
1525
$1500

Afghan - Soviet - US - Weapon Inventory War Rug
1669
$1500

Baluchi Runner War Rug (Pair 2/2)
Paired with 1310
This earthy rug features rows of helicopters, tanks, and branches of flowers. The border is made up of rows of flowers and connected geometric shapes. Branches with flowers line the outside of the field.
1311
$1750

Red Tora Bora with Tanks
The wool is better in these second generation Large Tora Bora rugs. The initial group laid flat, but the wool was lesser quality. This wool is fluffier and stands up better. Along with the pattern, there are speckled green mountains.
Text says 'Afghanistan' in tan on red at the top.
1517
$1750

Red Rug with Najibullah Structure
This is the mate for rug 1522. Both are woven at the same time and place with same wool and same structure.
1520
$1750

Red War rug with Starbursts
This rug is in new condition. It has been in a series of rug dealers wharehouses since it was woven in the 1990's. Production of Red Rugs stopped in 2003 after Afghan refugee weavers returned to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.
The Kalashnikovs in this rug are well drawn and very accurate. The patterning arond the helicopters give a nice effect, as does the drawing on the tanks. The starburst flowers are a nice touch.
The harlequin pattern helicopters at the toep of the rug are very unusual. A small group of Red Rugs had this desing -only larger motifs- from the 1998-199.
1561
$1750

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 '...'.
1113
$1750

Red Rug with Bullet Border
Excellent new condition. Like the other Red Rugs currently available on WarRug.com these rugs have been in a dealer's warehouse since they were woven in 1990's.
The green and red combination in this rug makes it unique and outstanding. Also the small patterns within the different images tie the whole rug together. Also the small tanks are one of the best images in all red rugs.
1559
$1850

AK-74 and Rocket Launchers
This is a second generation AK74 Red Rug. The first ones were woven in the mid 1990's and they were a small sub-group of the red rugs.
1518
$1950

2004 Large Iraq Rug (Exhibition #26)
Iraq Rug Large, perfect new condition. Thick soft pile. Note misspelling in ""Welcome""
1363
$2250

Blue Herati Rug with Persian Lions
This classic Herati design features a large blue polygonal Lozenge filled with the classic 'fish like' diagonal patterns. The spandrels contain small persian lion figures alongside tanks, rifles, and small medallions.
The center of the rug features a plus-shaped medallion containing a large stylized jet and a mounted gun with two smaller rifles and medallions.
The border on this rug is interesting.
Section of wear in the upper right corner of the 'plus sign' in the center where the foundation has been exposed and painted blue.
1624
$2575

Very Early Green Bus War Rug
This colorful rug features bright greens , blues, and reds on a light tan background. The colors in the motifs really pop from the field. In the center of the rug sits what looks to be a bus or trolley surrounded by tanks, helicopters, jets, and rifles. An assortment of flowers in different sizes and colors are sprinkled throughout the rest of the field.
877
$2999

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.
2064
$3000

Rows of Small Weapons White Grenade War Rug
This is a very busy and textural rug. There is little negative space, rows of tanks, grenades, rifles, and small animals fill most of the space all the way up to the thin zig-zag border.
The bright white used in the grenades and rifles makes them pop from the otherwise dark colors of the rug. About 1/6 of the way up the rug, the background shifts from blue to a very dark navy, almost black.
1398
$3750

Excellent Quality Green Border Ewer War Rug
Strong design. Note the superb luster of this rugs wool. Design alternates between rows of two tanks with text inside and three large ewers. Throughout the negative space sit grenades and small flowers, and the whole field is surrounded by an open guard stripe of linked flowers and leaves.
The border consists of tanks, rifles, and helicopters on a green background. The mustard yellow and bright orange accents pop off of the olive green and navy blues.
1066
$3999

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