Southern Albania

76- Southern Kilim

Description: This kilim is a large piece from the mid-20th century, likely the product of a communist-era factory. The various motifs found throughout the kilim are interpretations of patterns found in older kilims of the North West Bulgarian group, such as the light blue images found at the top and bottom of the kilim in the central red diamonds. The use of red and two shades of blue, as well as deep green, make this an attractive piece. As far as our research indicates, it is a unique piece and was abnormally large for the communist period when kilims were reduced in size as the result of smaller, government-constructed and managed housing. It is in unused condition, likely stored as a wedding gift and to be used only on special occasions. This kilim may be a modern interpretation of kilims from the Kolonja region, examples of which may be found in our catalog.

Estimated Age: First half of 20th century

Dimensions: 154,7 cm X 113 cm

09- Southern Kilim

Description: This is a simple homespun, double-paneled naturally dyed purple and black banded weave for versatile home use. There is some fading through washing. The long edges have been crocheted to add strength and durability.

Estimated Age: Late 19th century

Dimensions: 259 cm X 155 cm

25- Southern Kilim

Description: This exceptional large and important kilim comes to us from the city of Korce. Although there is a fantastic border, it only occurs on three sides. It is possible that this kilim was made for a specific room in a very large and prosperous house that it is complete, with the side without a border being the location of a very long bench called a divan. It is more likely, however, that this is half of an extremely large mosque kilim. This is indicated by the orientation of the mihrabs in that they are all facing one direction. With the outlawing of religion and the dissolution of mosques in the communist period of Albania (1945 to 1991), the piece was likely split in half and our remaining half found new life in the home of probably a senior communist official indicated by the still unusually large size even after half is missing. There are 14 complete wreaths or tables, 4 that are almost complete on the long ends, and 9 half-wreaths. This was made on an extremely large horizontal loom.

Estimated Age: Late 19th century

Dimensions: 423 cm X 296 cm

36- Southern Kilim

Description: This whimsical piece clearly indicates two different points of origin in time. The bottom panel was likely the first panel to be started. On one end we see an indigo border which utilized relatively expensive indigo dye for a blue color on a burnt orange background, with this switching to a locally-produced black dye batch of yarn for the remainder of the panel's border with a dusky-pink background from here on out. The repeating, matching loaves moving from left to right switch to a completely different color palette for the final loaves, a salmon pink. The pink salmon loaves may have been created due to lack of large quanties of green-dyed yarn, with only enough to complete half-loaves long the border. We simply will never know, but this charming, historic piece tells a story. The piece was made in the village of Bilisht by local Vlachs (Aromanians) by the same family that provided another kilim in our collection that is dated to 1880.

Estimated Age: 1880

Dimensions: 285 cm X 249 cm

43- Southern Kilim

Description: This smaller kilim from the Korce region is a home production which displays an unusually muted color palette for Albania. One can see a trellis of stylized green vines with small blue buds. The vine forms voids which feature 27 burgundy and red blossom and 12 half-blossoms with blue and black centers. The beige field holding the vines, buds, and blossoms is surrounded by a bright red border. This kilim would have served as a seating and/or sleeping mat, blanket, or a furniture cover.

Estimated Age: 40 t0 60 years

Dimensions: 211 cm X 133 cm

44- Southern Kilim

Description: This long kilim was likely woven to serve as a divan or couch cover in a traditional Ottoman period house. It may also have seen use as a runner in most recent times. The main imagery in the kilim is that of running water, perhaps waterfalls. There are 7 panels of 12 waves each. The colors contrast greatly. The colors used are: turquoise, white, black, gray, brown, salmon, burgundy, pale pink, khaki, purple, terracota, orange, mottled gray, and more. Abrash found throughout indicates that all yarn was likely dyed with natural colors. Each waterfall is bordered by 9 multicolored bands for a total of 72. The entire kilim has warp threads that are black and white and a burgundy-brown border encases the whole. This pattern is highly unusual.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 312 cm X 64 cm

111- Southern Kilim

Description: Almost square, this is a unique piece. There are no known similar patterns according to our research. Square kilims are often associated with sofra which were weavings that people ate on. This one, however, is over 3 meters wide so is clearly not a sofra. The entire kilim is composed of a single field with no border. The field is Pantone 704, which is close to brick red. There are cruciforms on each corner and mid-way between the corners. These cruciforms hold a central green, orange, and taupe flower outlined in black with four tri-lobed leaflets, probably clover, emananting from the flower. Each cruciform is further enhanced with fronds, perhaps from a fern, in cream. Delicate tracery of taupe lines creates links with rhombuses placed between the cruciforms and this stretches around the entire edge. Additionally, this tracery connects to four tables of plenty or perhaps windows in mint green, orange, cream, and taupe, outlined in black with centered flowers and to the central medallion which features a large stylized flower in the same colors but in different proportions. The tracery creates an 8-pointed star form that is common in Islamic or Moorish architecture, although its full form is partially obscured by the previously mentioned ornamentation. Our investigation indicates that this kilim came from Pogradec area which had large numbers of non-Albanian speaking people, so there may be some distant connection to patterns found in other parts of the Ottoman Empire.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 309 cm X 305 cm

112- Southern Kilim

Description: This piece is a blanket or floor covering that has a large plaid pattern. Made in two panels on a small loom in a village, it demonstrates a lower level of finesse and was intended for daily use, as opposed to special event use as seen in most of our exquisite pieces. This domestic weave is in uncharacteristic colors and little attempt at alignment of the patterns two panels was made. The piece was made using natural dyes.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 229 cm X 123 cm

117- Southern Kilim

Description: This domestically-produced kilim probably served as a floor covering. Made of two panels, there are ample signs of use. The main motif is a series of bands, each of which is made of 21 strips which mirror each other in that the first color used is the last color on the terminal side. Each set of colored strips is separated by a thick, naturally dyed black band which shows extensive abrash from different dye batches. This is most clearly seen on the bottom right picture.

Estimated Age: Early 20th century

Dimensions: 335cm X 143 cm

123- Southern Kilim

Description: This light kilim likely served as a table or bed cover, perhaps both through its lifetime. Four colors, in natural dyes, have been used to create an attractive patterns of bands. There are two sets of pale green, blue, red, blue broad bands which are separated by divided by contrasting red or pale green bands. Black lines highlight the narrow bands and also a thin black line creates contrast on the pale green and red bands.

Estimated Age: Late 20th century

Dimensions: 170 cm X 154 cm