Bordjalou Kazak Prayer Rug
Estimated Age: last quarter 19th century
Size: 4ft. 6in. by 3ft. 5in. (1.37 by 1.04m.)
Source: Skinner (auction)
This antique rug was offered at auction by Skinner on December 2, 2006, for an estimated $2,000-3,000, but went unsold.
Antique Rug Description
At first glance, this looks like a traditional Bordjalou prayer rug with its typical outer blue and red wave border and inner black and white interlocking triangular border. These borders surround a solid red field with a mihrab outlined in blue that indicates the direction for Muslim prayer. But what is unusual and striking about this rug are the multiple bold crosses it contains. There is the blue cross in the box at the bottom of the field, and smaller crosses in white at the horizontal tips of the central diamond medallions.
Without knowing the intended significance of these crosses, or whether they are even deliberate religious symbols, this design immediately stood out as a candidate for our reWoven collection. Qaraçöp village is an ancient island of Muslim Azerbaijani people in a sea of Orthodox Christian Georgians. Whether or not this rug is the result of this cultural and religious mixture, its apparent blend of faith symbols succinctly displays the diverse context of its origin.