Vintage Azilal Berber Rug

Circa 1990
Middle Atlas, Morocco
218 cm x 113 cm
7'1" x 3'8"

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.The present example belongs to a very restricted group woven with abstract painterly patterns. I know of only another piece with a similar arrangement and palette, probably the work of the same weaver. I consider this a ‘best of type’ for this group.

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