Vintage Azilal Berber Rug

Circa 1980
Central High Atlas, Morocco
210 cm x 155 cm
6'10" x 5'1"

The rugs from the Azilal region, located in the Moroccan central High Atlas, have been a relatively recent discovery. Distinguished by abstract, quasi-calligraphic patterns often on an ivory background, they differ from the white ground Middle Atlas carpets of the Beni Ouarain and the Beni Mguild essentially because of their floppy texture, which is closer to that of a flat-weave. The plethora of their design repertoire makes them among the most sought after Berber rugs among discerning collectors. Some of their patterns exhibit a striking modernity, others echo an archaic iconography which links them to the earliest manifestations of the Berber people.A relatively rare subgroup of these rugs is characterised by abstract patterns. The present example is probably one of the best we have sourced in Morocco in recent years, with its infinite repeat of polychrome concentric squares revolving around two larger squares. One wonders how an isolated group of people inhabiting a remote region of Morocco could conceive such a timeless work of tribal art.

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