Northwestern Persian, Kurdish, c. 1885

This large fragment has an authenticity one expects from the best of early village weaving. The fragment is a celebration of fertility and birth, an essential theme in village life. Here a woman weaver created a field of flowering pods or seeds. Within each of these large seeds incubates a smaller seed. This design is used in many variations and among many different rug types. The rug literature names it “the mother-daughter motif”. But this interesting fragment goes far beyond the usual design conventions one commonly encounters in rugs of this design type. The large scale of the forward seeds, and their intriguing detailed drawing dominates the weaving’s visual field. A man and a woman are drawn in the fragment’s center surrounded by tent like domiciles and a herd of wildly depicted animals. The weaver has created a naïve folk art depiction of her village life, one that is imbued with love and traditional historical connection.


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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.