Rug with Polychrome Diamonds

Circa 1920
Northeastern Middle Atlas, Morocco
350 cm x 200 cm
11'5" x 6'6"

The Beni Mguild tribe is located in the mountainous region of the Moroccan Middle Atlas. Together with the Beni Ouarain, they represent the earliest Berber presence in that region as well as the tribe with the longest documented legacy with the past. 

The second volume of Prosper Ricard ‘Corpus de Tapis Marocains’, written as research conducted during the French Protectorate and published in 1926, is entirely dedicated to the carpets of the Middle Atlas. Ricard focuses in extreme detail on the weavings of the Beni Mguild, differentiating between the ivory ones with lozenge patterns (ichdif) and the richly coloured carpets on an all-over diamond grid substrate (tazerbit) (Ricard 1926). 

The present carpet is an early example of tazerbit, distinguished by a background of natural indigo embellished by an honeycomb arrangement of polychrome small lozenges. The relatively fine weave and the orderly arrangement of pattern, which is very similar to many of the diagrams illustrated by Ricard, indicate that this was possibly the work of a master weaver. The quality of the dyes and the abundant use of indigo allows us to date this carpet with confidence to the first quarter of the 20th century. 

Its immaculate condition places it at the pinnacle of the Moroccan Berber tribal weaving tradition.

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