Styles Page

Landscape Pictorial War Rugs

Modern City 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.

Washed Specular 1980s War Rug
This early orangey-toned rug features an elaborate symmetrical cityscape split into thirds by two bright blue rivers running down either side of the center of the rug. The buildings feature contrasting red and green accents that help them pop from the orangey brown background. The main border consists of red, white, and green tanks and helicopters on a brown background, and the secondary border consists of smaller diamond shaped motifs.
Symmetry possibly related Bouetti's Specular rugs.
Back is labeled with the washer's tag, "W.B.D ISHAN TEPPiCH WASHEREI

Clock Tower with Helicopters 2 War Rug
This rug, like its mate of similar weave and design, #1484 is the most interesting contemporary rug I have seen. While the helicopters are somewhat non discript, these rugs speak to the International Coalition's actions in western Afghanistan like no other rugs that we have seen.

This rug appears to be woven by the same artist as rug #1484. Besides the similarity of design, the similarity of material is exact. Rug appears new without any floor wear. Fuzz still on back of knots. There is one condition issue of note: a two inch cut that runs above first palm tree on left side, just above red line over palm tree. Four warps are exposed for two inches, but the warps are unbroken. The wefts are broken and two columns of green and yellow marled knots are missing where cut is. Two columns of 11 knots each are missing. (I will repair this or have it repaired and make note here)

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.

Vertical Format Urban Scene
This rug was selected from several examples of similar scenes. This rug is notable and selected for its fine knotting, good colors, funky vehicle running along the bottom and writing. This is perhaps an variation of an excellent shown at Canada's Textile Museum (example). The short pile and dense knotting put this rug in small group of fine pictorial scenes. The red text in the upper right appears to say ""American"" in english text and Farsi is unreadable to this writer except for date. Also notable is the red, outlined in orange, rifle or grenade launcher in the bottom left corner. The vehicles running in a line in middle ground are intersting. They are like vehicles in this land mine war rug (example)

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.

Very Abstract Bridge Rug
This is the most abstract Bridge rug. The same form serves as an automobile and a helicopter. The towers of the bridge stand out well being red outlined in white on blue border. The abstracted airplane on the right of the left bridge tower pushes the envelope of progressive abstraction.

City Scene with Column of Tanks

2007 City Scene Sumac
Gul I'Birjista is the name of this type of carpet which combines sumac and pile. Parsons says it originated in Afghanistan during the 1960s. In our regular rug stock we currently have two sizes Gul I'Birjista rugs, each size originating from a unique town. Of the scores of these rugs, this is the only one featuring war motifs; specifically, an airplane in the top right corner. The background of most Gul I'Birjista rugs is an off white sumac, usually woven in a medium quality. The pile is dense and compact. This rug features very old fashioned style kilim skirts of red and blue horizontal stripes. Of the 100's of Gul I'Birjista rugs I have seen, less than one percent are pictorial. This is an unusual and collectible rug at a good price because of its recent vintage.

Herat Traffic Circle Rug
New condition with residue of cutting: various stray longer threads. . Nice sheen.

City Scene War Rug
This war rug is in new condition with full pile and good colors. This war rug shows a town with tanks going down the main street. Please note the trees sticking out from each side of the main street. This kind of reflected, or specular, design is familiar

Flower Border City Rug

Kabaa Rug
Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba in Mecca, is shown as the mihrab of this rug. The ocmposition of this rug is similar to Plate 28, but the Amu Daria in Plate 28 is abstracted into a form that resembles a peacock. This rug, not surprisingly, shows wear indicative of long-term use as a prayer rug at the center bottom end. There are two bright neon-green accents in the borders at the top half of the rug.
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Washed Kabil
""W. B. D. Ishan Teppich Washerei"". Herati border,

Blue Sky Pictorial
Significant hole, probably weakened from washing. Great abrashed minty colored accents. Village scene, road lined with multi-colored cars winds through the buildings and trees. Mountains stand in the background topped by helicopters, planes, and others.
The thick border consists of what looks to be a series of short buildings.

Abstract Herat Scene with Fighting
(formerly rug ID 1139) This rug is a very abstracted version of another similar landscape rug. It is nicely knotted with good wool and an interesting blend of colors. The stained-glass-like blue and red geometric forms in the border contrast with the olive green in the field.

ISI War Rug
A central motif of what looks to be a town contains imagery of cars, small buildings, military vehicles, mines, helicopters, and a faded landscape in the background. At the center-bottom of the motif a building with "ISI" in large blue lettering, the emblem of the 'Inter Services Agency'. Text is dispersed throughout the rest of the central field.
The main border is made up of 8-pointed-star shapes in brown polygons interspersed with turquoise geometric patterns. Some text is visible in a few of the shapes. The top and bottom main borders are slightly different with slightly more variance in geometry and possibly letters visible in the turquoise shapes. A pink and turquoise diagonal stripe stretches across the outside edge of these borders.
This rug has been heavily bleached once made with bright pink, turquoise, orange, red, and others, the carpet now takes on a more subdued color scheme. The bleaching is genius idea of the European dealer from whom we bought this rug. He was famous for his washing, and he ruined some important rugs like this one.
Some damage (holes and unravelling) is evident in the top right side of the rug, possibly due to the bleaching process.

Bosphorus Intercontinental Bridge Landscape Rug
This is an abstracted scene of a modern city. Two scenes are displayed horizontally on the runner. Two squares, shown at bottom, appeared to be like a rug documented by Schlosser until Nigel Lendon pointed out it is the pictorial image repeating and cropped. Jagged leaf border seen in a previously documented rug, and a "sary gyra" design has been documented in Arabatchi and Ersari.
Perhaps depicting the Bosphorus Bridge which connects Europe to Asia.

15th Century Queen Gowhar Shad Mausoleum and Minarets
Low pile, oxidized color, otherwise very good.
This black, red, and tan rug features an abstracted landscape. At the bottom of the rug are jagged red outlines surrounding what seem to be yards. Tanks weave through the 'streets' between the yards. Further up the yard are 4 minarets backed by mountains. Tanks sit further up, with what look to be birds, trees, and rifles in the mountains above with two helicopters hovering in the sky.
Tanks create the main border around the rug with red and blue geometric guard stripes.

Ambush Sumac
This is an important rug, for it shows a classic guerilla ambush. The lead Soviet vehicle has been disabled, and the Mujahadeen are moving in on horseback and foot. There are snipers with light and heavy machine guns, as well as an RPG. The Soviets have called in air support in the form of fighter jets and helicopters.
The face is very slightly faded, but otherwise perfect. This rug appears to have been hung on the wall. This rug was purchased with two of similar design without war motifs. They depicted a town with river scene and both rugs had the similar reindeer borders.

Very Fine Pictorial
Some wear, but excellent condition. The drawing, using two point perspective, is unique in this rug. It features a rocket in the river, a recurrent theme in war rugs. The colors are diverse and lovely

Early Airport Rug
Excellent early war rug. A colorful depiction of an airport consisting of large buildings, trees, and trucks on roads zig-zag up the rug. Plains and helicopters rest in blue bays.
Tanks and small planes drive around the main border. Blue and red diagonal stripes comprise the guard stripes.
Condition issues are several repairs and rug does not lay flat. There are six 1x4 inch re-weaves, and a 3x8 repair, all on top third of rug.

Three Panel Herat Workshop
This is the finest war rug warrug.com has seen. It is very finely knotted with excellent wool spun in very fine threads. It has two expertly done repairs, and two discolored areas. Skirts are unique, and beautiful.
This rug poses a conundrum, because the mosque's single dome, styles of minarets, two rows of arches, and gold color all suggest the Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashad rather than the more familiar Friday Mosque in Herat. On the other hand, beside the dome fly Afghan flags. This may be an example of the much speculated upon Afghan Turkmen rug woven by exiles in Iran (O'Calligan).

Bomb Falling on Column War Rug
This rug depicts a complex scene: tanks file through a road next to a house while a bomb flies mid-air towards either. A black duck watches from atop a tree. Large red mountains against a dark blue sky fill the background. Displayed at Miami U, has the canvas insert sewn to the back.

Nightvision F16 War Rug
Great rug. Truly a favorite

Snowy Landscape
This rug features an abstracted winter scene. It contains an example of an antique border. The abstraction makes good use of geometric patterning including squares, dots, tree designs, and heart shaped bushes. It is also one of the rare rugs that use two point perspective.
Very similar to this rug.

Late 1980's Landscape
Ambushed column depicted in center of rug, with flaming plane on the hillside. The foreground figure engages the viewer plaintively with hands outspread at their side.
This rug represents the fundamental strategy of the Afghan Mujahadin during the Soviet-Afghan War: ambush. The planes are effectively broken down into foreground, middle ground, and background. The center left shows an armored column with the lead vehicle on fire. This is a technique insurgents continue to employ in wars today. The figure in the foreground, plaintively addressing the viewer in a classic tribal rug gesture with hands outstretched to the sides, shows Afghan villagers' powerlessness and contextualizes the war poignantly.

Four City Blocks War Rug
This is a really nice rug. It appears to have been bleached and some of the colors are faded, however the wool is super soft and luxurious feeling.
The rug depicts a city block motif, once in each quadrant of the rug, with roads filled with cars and trucks separating the blocks. The border mirrors the shapes found in the center of the blocks, perhaps an orchard or garden scene.
Small flecks of gold metallic thread, especially in the bottom left side of the border.

Herat Mosque with Armor
This rug uses blue, orange, red, and browns to depict the Herat Mosque. A line of orange and red planes fly above the mosque, and two rows of trees grow underneath. The motif of this rug is sideways in landscape as opposed to running down the rug.
There aren't any main borders, however a guard stripe of red and white 's' shapes on a brown background borders the composition.

River Landscape prayer rug, early 1980s Exhibited Miami U
High quality rug from the early 1980s in excellent condition. The brown wool is undyed and of unusually dense character.

APC Border War Rug

Red and Blue Tank and Helicopters War Rug
Excellent example of a new rug. Unusual pictorial design.

Blue River War Rug
Good condition. Very nice wool. Lots of natural undyed colors. This is a great example of a pictorial rug with a stream running through a town, most likely Qala I'Nau. Please not rockets in stream, this is a small subset of pictorial rugs with streams that feature the ""rockets in water"" motif. Perhaps they store their Stinger missiles in streams?

City with Small Helicopters War Rug - Vehicle Border
New production Taimani Baluch. Indicative of the new Taimini rugs with city scenes, often mischaracterized as ""Twin Towers""

Birds War Rug
Very good, older rug, some wear

Mountain War Rug
new, good

Small Houses Afghan War Rug
This rug is meant to be viewed horizontally (the right side as the bottom) and appears to be an abstracted version of this rug. A row of blue and red geometric trees is followed by a road. A large silhouette of a mosque stands tall against a black sky filled with tanks, helicopters, and other motifs. The square is depicted to the left of the mosque.

Pictorial War Rug with Herat Mosque - Mirror Reflection on Horizontal Axis
The condition of this Herati war rug is perfect. The most notable feature of this rug is the wash. It has been washed in Turkey or Germany to soften the color, and this wash leaves the wool amazingly lustrous and soft. The colors come out with a more muted palette.
This rug has an excellent design, beautiful colors, and is made from great wool.
One condition problem with this rug is that it has a small hole (one quarter inch square) toward the top right in the border.
There is a tag from the washer that reads - W.B.D. Ishan Teppich Washerei -.

Pictorial Taimani Beluch War Rug
This war rug is in excellent condition. It has nice color, interesting design, and the best quality wool for a rug of this type.
Like rug 354 this rug has a special wash. The washer's tag reads - W.B.D. Ishan Teppich Washerei - . This wash softens colors and leaves the wool very lustrous and soft.
This rug has a notable kilim skirt. The pile ends are followed by a one inch brown and white band of weft substitution. Around this first kilim band is a ring of pile. The dual texture is very nice and very unusual. Below the band of pile is a second band of weft substitution followed by fringe. This is a very nice touch.
Another notable feature of this rug is the flag motif border. This pattern is seen on some map rugs from Herat. In this case most of the flags are not clearly delineated, but flags are probably the origins of these motifs.

S-Shaped Street Pictorial Afghan War Rug - Prayer Rug
This vintage war rug is in excellent condition. It has nice colors throughout with a very attractive use of a burgundy shade not commonly seen. Then again, there is not much that is common in this war rug.
The Islamic designed border consisting of mosque domes and minarets are typically Mushwani, as is the color palette. This unusual design with the minarets and mosques inside the ""s"" war rug themes in prayer format are rare and quite collectible.

Mirror View of Town with War Motifs Afghan War Rug
This late 1980's / early 1990s vintage Afghan war rug is in very good condition. This rug has beautiful wool pile, and it features several colors of natural, undyed wool. The undyed wool is in colors of brown, camel and grey. This war rug has excellent sheen which is soft and lustrous.
The composition of this Afghan war rug is unusual and interesting. It appears that the mirror image depicts the same town during the night on one side and during the day on the other side.
Note the war motifs in the blue field above the buildings. The hexagonal forms attached by cords to the town appear to be improvised explosive devices. There are also tanks and airplanes featured.
The wool weft of this rug is indicative of a soviet era rug. The weft of this rug is chocolate brown.
The blue green color used in this rug is slightly tip faded but the rest of the colors are not.

Grid Pictorial Afghan War Rug
Nice example of Hazara weaving. These are supposedly made in Quetta Pakistan

Town Afghan War Rug
Unusual pictorial rug. Recollects the Soviet invasion of Herat. Parachuting Star of David is odd.
Similar to a rug depicted on J. Barry O'Connel Jr's website in the 1990's. No link is available :(

Pictorial Beginner Afghan War Rug
This seems like a beginner rug. Edges are irregular, and the back is uneven. Its lines are not smooth and composition and rendering are simple. Nonetheless, it has an informal punch. Imagery pops from very deep indigo field. Cars are nice.