X-Large Sizes

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. Each wreath, of which there are two types, is an intricate, concentric system 12 constrasting colors all of which rest on a deep blue field. Wreaths with an orange center, contain a central purple stylized bird motif found in earlier period kilims from Bulgaria and Serbia. Moving outwards from there, concentric jagged squares go through the following colors in lines of various thickness: brown, yellow, purple, dark red, indigo, light red, black, grey, light red, and then finally all outlined in white. The other type of wreath features a grey, stylized bird on a light red background. Moving outwards from there, centrically, we see the following colors: brown, grey, purple, white, black, orange, grey, dark red, and all outlined in yellow. Research indicates that this type of border was only produced in Korce in the current borders of Albania. It is clearly inspired by earlier designs found in Serbian and Bulgarian kilims. This includes the use of mihrab or mirror designs, each containing a large, stylized bird and separated by abstract trees, the style of which is also found in those earlier kilims from farther east. Abrash indicates that natural dyes have been used throughout. This was made on a extremely large horizontal loom.

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

Dimensions: 423 cm X 296 cm