Northern Albania

101- Northern Kilim

Description: This kilim features a pattern found on many Bosnian-produced pieces from the 19th century which themselves were based on NW Bulgarian motifs from earlier periods. The long sides have a serrated black edge. The outermost border in stricking sky blue contains approximately 52 roses. An inner border of deep blue contains 32 roses. The rich red central field is dominated by three 'Beogradski kolu (key)' patterns that are found in certain kilims from NW Bulgarian which then spread throughout the Ottoman Empire in Europe. The central medallion is a rich pattern of many colors. From the central green point on the 'bomb' or stylized bird form, the colors from the inside out are: green, black, white, pink, yellow, gray-green, blue, cream, burgundy/wine, cerulean, light blue, cerulean, black, cerulean.

Estimated Age: Late 20th century

Dimensions: 215 cm × 185 cm

08- Northern Kilim

Description: This kilim copies a pattern found in the NW Bulgarian group of kilims with this pattern comig from the 19th century. It may have been made in communist era factory in Kruje. It is a dramatic kilim featuring iconic Bulgarian-derived motifs in vivid juxtaposition. Three fields of red containing three wreath patterns each are surrounded by a black band with 7 devil's knees patterns on each long side. Three panels are separated by lines of spectacle patterns. The overall cream border contains 34 turtle patterns. A variant of the saw-toothed pattern in black encases the long edges.

Estimated Age: Mid 20th century

Dimensions: 195 cm × 138 cm


12- Northern Kilim

Description: This ingenious kilim features a design pun playing with the motif of the double-headed eagle in slightly abstract form with the industrius, community-oriented honey bee. The piece features 352 hexagons, each containing a double-headed eagle/bee, with 48 minature forms along the outside border. A narrow red edge along all four borders is serrated on the longer sides. A thick black band containing a single line of red bees encased in green honeycomb surrounds a red field of black honeycomb with back and white bees. Natural dyes in four colors: red, black, green, white. This has rarely been used and was only brought out on the most special of occasions. The use of green is unusual with this red, white, and black combination. Mint condition.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 320 cm × 222 cm

13- Northern Kilim

Description: This is a kilim from northern Albania that may have been inspired by Bosnia kilim patterns from the 19th century in the late Ottoman Empire. The usual floral motifs are present, but unusually horse motifs are incorporated into the design; animal motifs are far rarer than floral ones. A saw-toothed edge is found along the long sides. A pale blue border features 36 red and burgundy roses each with three leaves, enclosing a narrower black border on which there are 103 leafy fronds in red, turqouise, green, plum, and white. The central zone of the kilim is extremely complex and represents a garden surrounded by water and features three islands each in a pond. There are 12 right triangles, half in burgundy and half in green, each with a water-wave edge on the hypotenuse and containing a horse, and two lozenges, small and large, in three colors each, probably representing tables of plenty and prosperity.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 346 cm × 243 cm


16- Northern Kilim

Description: This is a very large kilim featuring a narrow red, serrated edge on all four sides surrounding a deep black border with 30 corsages of flowers which adjoins another border in cream with 56 small floral designs. The central field of crimson has a large, beautiful bouquet of roses in the center. The four corners of the field are filled will flowers on a navy blue background and a delicate mint-green, hooked edge. A wonderful feature of this kilim are two sets of initials in the central flowers. One set is in Cyrillic script, indicating Montenegrin influence, while the other is 'JK', reflecting a Latin or Catholic influence, hinting at either an Orthodox and Catholic marriage, or more likely a marriage between two ethnic Albanians, one from Montenegro where Cyrillic script was used, and the other from Albania, where a Latin-based script was used. In any case, the initials make this a unique cultural treasure.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 321 cm × 247 cm

19- Northern Kilim

Description: This is an exceptionally large and heavy kilim discovered in northern Albania, but possibly wove in neighboring areas of the former Ottoman Empire in Europe. From the outside, we have a red, plain border. Next, we discover 200 humanoid figures with raised arms, perhaps in celebration or warding away evil, standing on a beige zigzag line. A medium-sized green border contains zig-zag line of blue, white, and beige parallelograms defined by a red edge, creating a 3D effect. Then follows a narrow blue zigzag line that leads on to a deep black border featuring a red and blue vine or perhaps a line of serpents. The zig-zag line of multi-colored parallelograms repeats, but on a blue background in red, white, green, and black, with pink edges. Now we enter the red field with 206 four-petal flowers in the corners and central medallion. Grapes and tortoises may feature in the center, or perhaps butterflies. The central field has signs of abrash from different dye batches, which clearly would have been a challenge given the size of this kilim. The weaver(s) interwove the different dye batches of yarn in order to lessen the contrast. Mint condition as this would have been used only on the most important occasions by a wealthy family with a substantial guest room.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 380 cm × 323 cm

06- Northern Kilim

Description: This festive kilim that was used for special events such as weddings. The bright colors and flowers were intended to bring happiness and harmony to the family. The condition indicates rare use, probably just a few times over a 100-year period. The design was originally from NW Bulgaria, but was popular in Bosnia in the second half of the 19th century. The centra red field has abrash (different shades of red due to different dye batches). It has large blue and green flowers, with smaller green and white flowers on the field of red, with many smaller emblems throughout. The border consists of multi-colored abstract flower designs with a central almond detail in the center, all on a black background. The long sides have a nice, simple red saw-toothed edging in perfect condition. Likely a combination of natural and synthetic dyes were used for the color.

Estimated Age: Late 19th century or early 20th century

Dimensions: 318 cm × 189 cm

10- Northen Kilims

Description: This is a spectacular kilim depicting a basket of roses on a carmine red field thrown into high contrast by dark, floral corners surrounded by a restrained baby blue border of floral garlands. A subtle Christian motif can be discerned in the red and black crosses that feature in the arcades of the border garlands. The warp, or threads that go the length of the kilim, are pink, red, and white, giving continuity to the field beyond the border; this is a remarkable feature. This type of kilim was made by or for Christian families and used as a wall-hanging or floor kilim for weddings and similar events on very rare occasions. The symbolism has strong connotations for prosperity, fertility, and happiness for the owners. It's fine quality and orientation make this perfectly suitable for hanging. Natural dyes.

Estimated Age: Late 19th century or early 20th century

Dimensions: 207 cm × 150 cm