SOLD | C. 1910, ONE-OF-ONE SPECTACULAR Early Antique Tribal Piece with Goregous Border - Rust, Salmon, Denim, Camel | 9.6 x 13
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* All of our antique & vintage rugs are professionally cleaned prior to being listed.*
Name: One-Of-One SENSATIONAL Antique Tribal Piece
Size: ~ 9.6 x 13
Age: Antique, C. 1910
Pile: Low/Medium with soft and strong wool. No major restoration but lots of nice re-piling throughout which shows that every single person that this piece was with put time, money, energy and effort into preserving it. You can note some of the re-piling in the photos. I've taken a bunch to try and capture everything from different angles and these photos are with my iPhone which sometimes creates a bit more contrast but all in all, this piece is pretty accurate. The touchups and re-piling are well done but they are also older, so just know that this piece isn't intended for an unbelievably super high-traffic Hotel Lobby or seating or waiting area of a cool new coffee shop or restaurant - if you are intending for it to be used in a commercial setting, reach out to me and we can discuss this piece further.
About: We all have our things, for me, it's old and ancient textiles that come from the remote villages of otherwise unchartered territories that you and I will most likely never have the privilege of visiting the way we would like. The closest thing we have to cherishing these places, people, and lands - is through their art. Behold an early piece hailing from the Northwest Mountains that is arguably known to be the most sought-after district for decorative Tribal rugs that the world has ever known. Pieces that come from this area over a century to a century and a half ago have graced the floors of royalty, tycoons, aristocrats, and important figures on nearly every continent in the world. How can the wool of sheep sheared sorted, and washed - then dyed, dried then spun reach the hands of talented nomads that had the patience and know-how from ancestors create such works of art that we have still filled the cups of our thirst of beauty even centuries later? The magic lies somewhere between the primal love of nature and the subconscious relentless pursuit of witnessings man's ability to create. To me, it is easy to see the beauty of these pieces with the eyes, for the eyes are for seeing - but when a textile-like this is unrolled in front of you and pulls on something beyond the eyes, that's when you know it's more than just an object - it is nearly living and breathing. You can look at this piece and see the weavers weaving it, most likely 4-5 women for a piece this large. The floppy handle and large coarse knots in combination with the colors, lack of symmetry of design (which we'll get to later), and sheer size of this piece leads us to believe it was woven C. 1900, and I would say 1910's to be safe. Size - The size of this piece is absolutely marvelous - must have been woven for a wealthy family or commissioned out for an important building or space. It is such a European size because the standard 9x12 or 10x13 was more common, but this is an in-between size that speaks to its age and adds yet another layer to its phenomenal story. Colors; Madder root that has been matured over time acts as the canvas and the main color of the field - variations of apple reds, soft rust, brick, and even hints of reddish amber poke through. This is balanced with the earthy use of Camel, mocha, antique beige, golden browns, and even espresso. The significance of the camel is noteworthy- because of the lack of the common antique beige color, which they used almost fundamentally in pieces that came from this region, the piece itself has a much more groundedness to it - calling for a more earthy and overall "raw" feel to it, vs the antique beige that usually is added to create the stark contrast and sobering sharpness that we find in many northwest pieces. This piece doesn't have that, making for a much easier piece to digest with the eyes. Then, of course, you have the many shades of blues that are produced by natural indigo. In the medallion and border, you will find jets of deep navy with bands of even deeper inky blue-black. Some shades must have seen more of the sun as they contain a smokiness to them. French blue, Sky Blue, and even Denim blues also find their way throughout the piece mainly filling up the decorative corner spandrels. These corners are interesting, to say the least - beautiful pinky salmon that is a definite color of the early 1900s in these tribal rugs, does such a nice job to elevate the color palette in its entirety. The re-piling that is done adds an even greater depth being that the shades are a lighter rusty hue that fits well with the composition of this piece. Even a soft blue-green and slate pastel-ish hue finds her way throughout giving even more interest. The space and design of this piece are reminiscent of some of the early Northwest rugs from this similar region. Nice openness and negative space throughout the field of the rug allow both the medallion to stay powerful, but also the filler motifs that are woven in all shapes and sizes with no clear direction scale add a casual and charm to the pattern. Palmette flowers in old English rose jute out next to camel serrated leaves, adjacent to soft blue geometric tulips, and more. The medallion itself is a stunning piece of art all on its own. Without getting too wordy, you will note moments of the story in color where some of the spontaneously woven motifs are different colors at different times - indicating that this section perhaps wasn't woven in one sitting, or there were interruptions or breaks amongst the weavers and their work. A lovely example of what us folks desire in these funky, one-of-one charming village rugs. From a distance, the Medallion looks like it's alive, and the jutting finials are ever so imperfect in relation to each other - you can almost see one of them swaying a bit. The 4 corners inside of the corner spandrels also tell a story. You will note a square with a flower icon in each corner of the spandrel - 3 of the 4 squares is blue, only one of them is antique beige - what happened here? We will never know, and there is something majestic about that. The iconic Leaf & Palmette border with decisive jagged leaf and round palmette design add wonderful structure to a relatively "free" field. At last, we get to the nuances of the weavers - more story. When you see the first half of the rug, meaning where the bottom of the rug was started to become woven until the very center of the rug - you see tightness in design, a tidiness in pattern, and overall cleanliness in the details... then you can to the second half of the rug, where you start to see chunkier motifs, elongated shapes vs their mirrored counterparts, and some distortion taking place until you reach the border where they then get back in the border to finish the rug. What does this difference in halves tell us? If you're obsessed with rugs like me, you'll know that as a matter of fact, this is common amongst very old tribal rugs; that is for one half (the first half) of the rug to be woven a bit more precise, and the second half to be woven with almost restraints and expectation to match the first half. The problem is, once the first half is done, the weavers are then left with the reality of the size of the loom vs the amount of space left that they have to weave a mirrored image. Sometimes the first half is longer/larger than expected, so the second half is smaller and more compact - or other times, as in the case of this piece, the first half was a big short than half of the loom, so the weavers had to make up for the extra space by making motifs a bit larger, longer, wider, and a few more knots in between motifs to start moving everything up to make it look as close to the first half as possible. It is exactly elements like this that instantly add a world of depth to an object taking it from beautiful to remarkable. I hope you see in this piece what I see, and I hope it speaks to you the way it speaks to me. If not, that's perfectly fine, we all have our tastes about things, and tugs on our heartstrings may be different, but when we learn more about these objects, the appreciation for them will always increase.
This rug is one-of-a-kind, only one in the world, no others are available.
Because of the nature and age of these older/antique handmade pieces - irregularities, ancient old repairs/touch-ups, and age-related wear are likely to exist and are not considered defects.
Any questions about this rug? Don't hesitate to reach out!
We always recommend a high-quality custom cut pad for any and all rugs; these pads are made for hand-knotted rugs. They create a body and support the knots of the rug, as well as prevent it from slipping and sliding.
A note from us to you: Buying a rug is special; it's not just you finding the rug, but also the rug finding you. Think about the many coincidences that have to occur for you to find the rug of your dreams. Our rugs are woven by nomads in the villages and remote mountainous regions of the major rug weaving districts across the world. All of our rugs are genuinely old and one-of-a-kind. Like anything old and unique, they are filled with character, soul, and story. The story of a rug is something we think about a lot; who was the weaver(s)? Did they weave it for personal use, commerce, to gift, or trade? Who was the second owner, and the third!? Sometimes the little motifs and symbols in rugs can help tell the story, but we will never truly know - there's something beautiful about that. Alas, our joy is to curate these incredible pieces that speak to us, and to pass them along to their new owners to be enjoyed and cherished for many years to come; both continuing to add to the story of the rug, and to the story of the new owners.
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