A gift from the Ministry

In 2014, when the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum moved to a new building on Seaside Boulevard and acquired a new, multipurpose area for the exposition, this event was solemnly celebrated at a high level. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan donated to the museum early 20th-century Kabistan carpet of Shirvan group on this occasion.

Kabistan carpets are well known to collectors and art critics. For many centuries, such carpets, widely produced by Shirvan weavers for themselves and for sale, were highly quoted in the world consumer market, and now have turned into precious exhibits of museum and private collections.

The Kabistan name (which should not be confused with Gobustan ‒ they are completely different toponyms) is their hallmark, and the origin of this name art critics still argue, because it has several meanings.

The Kabistan carpets exist in many varieties. The carpet which was donated to the museum by the Ministry belongs is characterized by a grid-shebeke with rhomboid cells. This composition (it occurs not only in carpets but also for example in architecture) is called Bendi-rumi. This is a very ancient type of composition ‒ it’s already been more than ten centuries! The surface of the rhombic elements is filled with geometric floral elements, which usually alternate in color and shape either horizontally or diagonally but sometimes they are not repetitive at all. Mihrab image decorated some Kabistan carpets.