TYPE: Baluch Afghan war rug (Soviet era)

CIRCA: 1984/1985

A Soviet era ‘Afghan war rug’ made in Afghanistan by a Baluchi weaver in 1984 or 1985 and purchased new in 1986. It has several typical Baluch motif borders with a central field that consist of alternating rows of hand-grenades, Kalashnikov assault rifles, aeroplanes and helicopters. The weaving is tight and the colours strong, with a deep blue beautifully abrashed natural dyed indigo background and a lovely 8cm (3.25in) flat-weave with weft brocade at either end. It has wool warp and weft and the size is 193cm x 99cm (inc. the flat-weave ends) and there is a 13cm (5in) long loose ‘fringe’ on either end. It is in excellent condition having only one owner since being bought new in 1986.

These ‘war rugs’ were never made in great numbers during the Soviet invasion era (1980 – 1989), although post 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan by the USA and its allies in 2001 they became more popular as ‘souvenirs’ for the soldiers, although in general the quality noticeably dropped and more and more they were made in the Afghan refugee camps of neighboring Pakistan. This example is one of the best examples we have seen, including in the various books – mostly European – and magazine and online articles that have been published on the genre.

*The names of several books covering Afghan War Rugs that we have in our reference library can be found here https://warpandweft.club/reference-material/ under the heading Afghan and Central Asian Carpets. Should anyone know of others currently available we would be thankful to hear of them so as to add to or reference library!

SIZE: 193CM X 99CM Exc. 13cm FRINGE either end. Overall inc. fringes = 219cm