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An Armenian enigma finally solved

The rug is an Armenian Karabagh, mid 19th C. It’s rare. I have only seen three other antique kilims with the same pattern and Armenian inscriptions.

But what is the repeated motif?

It was an enigma I couldn’t solve for months until… I saw an image of the interior of the Armenian Cathedral of Saint James in Jerusalem. Eureka! Of course…a graphic representation of The HANGING LANTERNS of ST. JAMES ARMENIAN CATHEDRAL!

Like I always say, you can’t understand Caucasian rugs if you don’t understand Armenian Medieval art

Mid 19th C Armenian Karabagh