Vintage Beni Ouarain Berber Rug

Circa 1950
Northeastern Middle Atlas, Morocco
420 cm x 210 cm
13'9" x 6'10"

The Beni Ouarain confederation is composed of seventeen tribes inhabiting the high mountain region of the northeastern Middle Atlas. Their rugs differ from other Berber weavings in that they are woven almost exclusively on an ivory background and decorated with abstract geometric motifs in undyed natural brown/black wool. The pattern is typically composed of an all-over grid of lozenges with little or no variation. This outstanding example is woven with wool of the best kind, lush and silky, allowing for a very fine knotting giving a very elegant surface with a short pile height. It’s distinguished by an extremely well balanced contrast between the snow white background and the dark black columns of diamonds, the latter being partly concealed by the surrounding ivory pile. The visual impression is that of a rug conceived by a Scandinavian designer rather than a Berber weaver and is certainly among there ones that are closer in spirit to Mid-Century Modern design.

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