Guide to Baku Rugs & Carpets

Today when we say Baku people think of the city of Baku. In terms of Oriental Rugs we are speaking of the Baku Khanate which dominated the region before the Russians came to power in 1806.

Included in with the rugs of Baku are Ashaga Fyndygan, Baku, Surahani, Chila, and Saliani.

Surahani is from Surakhany a town on the Apsheron Peninsula of Baku. These rugs average 84 KPSI and 35 square feet in size. About 45% of these rugs are wool wefted Stone, P.F. Rugs of the Caucasus: Structure and Design. page 20 and 216. Light red wool wefts are less common than white but still normal. Following Schurmann, Ulrich. Caucasian Rugs plate 66, many in the trade call these Shirvan but Baku seems a better attribution.

Baku city in the Caucasus that passed from nominal Persian control to Czarist Russian Control in 1806. The city is in the center of a massive oil field and was a site of early fire temples that contained natural seeping oil fires. Baku rugs frequently have botehs which some relate to the flames of the fire temples.

Carpet dealer Old City of Baku, Azerbaijan

Examples:

Fyndegan Baku

It is the classic large small large confiruration and is clearly Northeast Caucasian rather than Chaily which is further west.


A Baku long rug 2nd half 19th century

Sides and lower end original; a joined horizontal tear in the left border, minor footwear, a few corroded places tinted.


A Baku Harshang long rug, ca. 1800

Sides damaged, losses to both ends, brown areas corroded, low pile.


Shirvan Baku long rug circa 1900

This main border of this rug is rare in paile carpets and is related to the main border seen in slit weave kelims


Cruciform Flower Baku Carpet Rippon-Boswell

Obvious traces of wear, sides replaced; minimal losses to both ends.


Baku Rugs: Baku rug Last Quarter 19th C

Southeast Caucasus, Circa 1900, having a stepped ivory floral medallion on the indigo boteh field within the rose-red rosette and S-device border



More Historical Context:

Islam and carpets: despite the historical sites related to fire worship Baku has been overwhelmingly Moslem for over 1000 years.

Carpet was not just an export item. Due to oil Baku was a wealthy town and rugs and carpets were donated to the Mosques. These rugs were a point of pride as can be seen by this postcard of a mosque interior.

Baku Mosque Minaret circa 1900

Baku Mosque interior circa 1900

A traveler in Baku circa 1900. By the hat I judge him to be from north of Baku perhaps Daghestan.

The Baku oil fields circa 1900.

A man resting in a cemetery in the city of Baku circa 1910.

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