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Antique Kurdish runner

Circa 1890
309 × 65 cm 10’1” x 2’1”


A rare narrow antique Kurdish runner, with glorious rich colours and a subtle floral all over pattern.  Varying reds and greens and blues can be seen throughout this nomadic weaving, as the weaver would have woven the runner on a loom in the ground.  Often taking this up when travelling, which is often why these tribal runners are never perfectly straight or a perfect shape.  Which is part of their beauty and charm.  The runner does change slightly in size as it has been woven, the widest part being 65 centimetres, and narrower at other points.  It is fairly straight too, we love the colours and age of this runner.  It would look fantastic on a wooden or sisal floor for example.

Dating from the late 19th century, it is over 130 years old and in good order.  We believe this to be original in its width, but sometimes outer borders are lost. So it may have been altered during its life.  The Kurdish weavers of North-West Persia and Kurdistan often did produce narrow runners though, and the composition of the piece looks correct.  It has had some glue used on the back of the runner down the length of the piece.  Which has been added at some point in its life to prevent losses to the sides, an amateur way of preventing this – which we occasionally come across.  But thankfully it does not harm or hinder this runner from being admire and used.  We shall always provide brilliant sturdy underlay, to allow the runner to sit still on a wooden, sisal or carpeted floor.

Visit our barn showroom in Crondall, Surrey, we are open Monday to Saturday by appointment.  Or allow us to visit you with this antique runner so you can trial it at home.

. . .

Kurdish rug weavers were mainly woman who adapted and experimented with neighbouring weaving designs and used them in their own carpets. Nomadic rugs of the Kurds of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus used often primitive designs, whereas the the Kurdish Northwest Persia weavers used Caucasian designs of Kazak and Karabagh such as the diagonally striped field or bold geometric motifs.

Kurdish carpets are on the whole are coarse in comparison to the sophisticated rugs of Senneh, the capital of Kurdistan. The designs can be similar to that of Senneh, more often open in pattern and will use the ‘Boteh’ motifs or stylised flowers such as on this runner.

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