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Fly with Azerbaijani carpets into world of Eastern fairy tale

19 February 2015 [11:46] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Amina Nazarli

“Dazzling Azerbaijani carpets”, this is what people may say when they first see the Azerbaijani beautiful national carpets, decorated with various colorful designs.

Azerbaijani carpets give comfort to almost any house due to their inexhaustible patterns, creative drawings and mastery.

They have all colors of Azerbaijani nature, including the blue sky and green forests, dense shadows and the whiteness of snow on the slopes of the mountains.

The magically designed carpets absorb the ruby brightness of pomegranate seeds and the golden glow of quince, copper of saffron and lilac tints of grapes.

Over many centuries, a carpet has been not only an accessory, but also a necessity for Azerbaijani people. Carpets have become almost a symbol of every houses. In ancient times, no man married a girl, who could not weave a carpet. Families used to buy carpets as main part of their grils'dowry.

The country’s life has been closely related with carpets, as people lay them on the floor or hang them on the walls or sew with them clothes for themselves and blankets for their horses.

When someone wanted to give a big present to others, carpets were considered as an ideal option. Carpets were also used as taxes or tribute, and rulers took carpets as tax with great pleasure. In a nutshell, a man’s wealth was defined by the number of carpets he had.

There are different patterns and color palette of several schools, including Guba, Baku, Shirvan, Ganja, Gazakh, Karabakh and Tabriz.

About 600 kinds of designs decorates Azerbaijani carpets. The most-used designs in the national carpets is Buta, which has 72 kinds of shape and three main meanings including fire, water and cypress.

Arab historians described with surprise the unusual rugs, woven with gold and silver threads and decorated with precious stones. English travelers, admired the quality of carpet dyes used by Azerbaijani weavers. European artists from different eras “decorated" their paintings with Azerbaijani carpets, with Hans Holden the Younger and Hans Mumbling being among them.

Ancient Azerbaijani carpets are stored in the White House, U.S. State Department and many other museums throughout the world including Azerbaijan State Carpet Museum in Baku, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Museum of Art in Philadelphia as well as Louvre in Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Hermitage in St. Petersburg and many others.

In November 2010, the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.

If you wish to plunge into the world of ancient Azerbaijan and feel the colorfulness and tradition of Land of Fire you should probably buy a special national carpet.

But, before starting your research on the best carpet, first visit the Azerbaijan State Carpet Museum, the first carpet museum in the world, established in Baku in 1967. First the museum was located in the Juma Mosque in the Old City. In 1992 the museum, named after well-known Azerbaijani scientist Latif Karimov, who is the founder of the carpet study and carpet history in Azerbaijan was moved to the Neftchiler avenue 123a.

Meanwhile, a new carpet museum designed in the form of a rolled carpet opened in the Baku seaside park (boulevard) in 2014. And all the carpets were transferred to this museum.

The museum is famous for its unique collection, where the best samples of the national carpets are put on display. This will help you get familiarized with carpets and choose the one which is close to your heart.

A museum staff consultation will also be helpful when buying a carpet in the Old City, as their quality in every shops is varying.

Some sellers may easily deceive the tourists, selling a modern carpet at the price of old one. Sometimes they even artificially age the carpets, laying new carpets on the roofs of buildings under the hot sun. After the carpet is burnt out, they look like ancient ones.

When choosing a carpet pay attention to thinness of the thread. The thinner they are the better the carpet is.

Another place, where you can easily buy a carpet on your taste is “Azer Ilme” company located at the Shamsi Rahimov street 2. Here you can even order a carpet based on the type, pattern, color, and quality you like.

The value of the carpet also depends on the complexity and richness of its central pattern. The quality of the carpet is determined by its material and density.

Do not try to buy antique carpets, as their illegal export is carefully checked by the Customs. To take the carpet out of the country you need a special certificate, which a seller should provide you with.

It is better to purchase carpets in the country’s regions, where their price will be much fewer and the quality is better, sometimes even better than those in the shops of big cities.

So, do not miss a chance to be an owner of a mystery Azerbaijan carpet which will allow you to fly into the Eastern fairy tale.


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