Northeastern Caucasian fragment, c. 1890

This fragment is taken from the main border of its mother rug. Visually it offers more than a cursory look reveals. At first glance we see a succession of eight pointed stars, still a meaningful image on its own. But a closer look shows that these stars are contained within larger ivory octagons and bracketed by some sort of abstract wine cup flowers. So here is where the fun begins. After our first glimpse of what appears as just a parade of stars, further looking reveals complexity and play with space. The image is transformed from a simple arrangement of forms into a intriguing display of interlocking images.


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The Antique Rug Fragment as Serious Art

There are passages in all art that can exist independently as a meaningful aesthetic, functioning separately from the complete work they once belonged to. In these frames we see pieces from archaic rugs, fragments from their mother rug, which had over time been destroyed. Occasionally areas of these old surviving pieces can exist on their own, and still express spirituality, decoration, a sense of magic and what it means to live in a timeless culture. The events that have defined all human life are symbolically addressed here: giving birth, raising a family, tending to animals, accepting the inevitability of death and the absolute belief in the existence of an immutable godhead. These fragments express all that we look for in an art object: beauty, honesty and mastery of craft. These humble fragments establish a life of their own, one that takes us directly without distraction to the essence of rug art.