Central Asian Ikat of the 19th Century

30/9 – 21/10

Caucasian Soumak Carpet

Caucasian Soumak Carpet


302 x 215 cm


This Caucasian Soumak carpet dates to around 1900.

A column of three diamond shaped medallions forms the central axis in blue, set on a red ground. The medallions are each decorated with an octagon in the centre and, in the case of the medallion at the bottom, off centre. Inside the octagons is another diamond shaped medallion which is surrounded by motifs in the form of stars and flower heads. The star shapes are repeated in rectangular compartments in the main border.

On each side of the carpet six pointed narrow rectangles protrude into the field, emanating from a a narrow trapeze, much like an obelisk on a plinth turned by ninety degrees. Non identical pairs of octagons, the two in the middle on a yellow, and the two at the top and bottom ends of the field on a blue ground, stand out as larger motifs in the field. Otherwise the field is patterned with spot motifs in the shape of flower heads and endless knots. Flanking the outer tips of the top and the bottom medallions are two round shapes which at first sight look like flower heads. However, on closer inspection, they appear to be flying birds forming the circumference of the circle. Two further, individual birds can be found to the right of the top right hand circle – a lovely little detail which reveals itself when you study the multiple designs on this charming carpet.

The main border is flanked by two minor borders which are separated by guard stripes. A so-called “running dog” design forms the outer border on all four sides.

Soumak carpets, being flat woven rather than piled, are often found with a degree of damage. The example in hand has areas of old restoration and is now in good, usable condition.