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News Newsletters 2010/04 Caucasian Carpets - Akstafa

2010/04 Caucasian Carpets - Akstafa


The decorative Akstafa carpets are coming from the Caucasus and are knotted in the southwest of the Shirvan region. This knotting area has a long carpet tradition and knows several carpet groups, from which the Akstafa one of them. The large octagonal medallion star, surrounded by four great mythological birds, is the most striking characteristic. The birds have long necks and tails looking like standing arrows. The birds look a bit like a peacock.

The old and antique rugs Akstafa carpets have a woolen warp and weft. The pole is wool and the symmetric (Ghiordes) knot is  most often used. The background of the carpet is often dark and mythological birds beige. Furthermore, the colours blue, red, orange, brown and even black are regularly found in the other decorative motifs. The Akstafa rugs have unusual sizes, length 200 - 320 cm, width 100 - 140 cm.

Because of their unusual length the Astafa carpets have at the blue inner surface sometimes two or more octagonal star medallions, surrounded by the mythological birds. The big star medallions, frequently show small crochet diamond patterns. The birds and medallions are bordered by several small geometric flowers, animal figures and other fantasy motifs. In the broad main edge there's in general a continuous rectangular pattern on both sides with a hook, often referred to as a trumpet motif. Less common in the main ring are the continuous crab and oak leaf motifs. The narrow borders are sometimes decorated with small S-motifs or other small tribal motifs.

Akstafa carpets with a niche motif at the top (mihrab) are rare. On both sides of the niches there're sometimes two small living trees or other decorative motifs, these Akstafa rugs are also smaller in size. Under this niche, there's frequently an ongoing (angled) diamond motif. These diamonds are filled with small hook motifs. The main edge and the small edges share the same images as the other Akstafa carpets.

If you want to know more about Akstafa carpets, please contact Van der Hulst Oriental Carpets through our contact form or e-mail



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