A very decorative yellow-ground kurdish rug with shrubs or flowers design, aranged as repeating all-over pattern in diagonally offset rows. Three borders of about equal width, the outer and inner ones showing a typical kurdish meander with flowers surrounding the central border with rosettes in various colour combinations.
I believe this to be Kurdish work from north-west Persia or the southern Caucasus. Most repeating shrubs or flower designs of this type seem to be attributed to Kurds, equally this type of meander border. A dealer's label on the back of this rug marks in handwriting "Kazak - Talesh 233 x 123 cm, Wolle auf Wolle", and lists a former retail price of 4500 DM. I think the dealer got it wrong, perhaps he thought of trading it at a higher value when passing it as Kazak / Talish. At least I do not see the typical Talish border or the typical Talish open field here, and haven't found other rugs attributed to Talish with all-over shrubs design. According to Eiland & Eiland, 'Oriental Rugs - A complete guide', Talish is a rather questionable attribution anyway. They note that "rugs currently labeled as Talish products may be from other sources in the southern Karabagh region, but they will probably retain the Talish label, whether it is right or wrong, because the type is so well recognised".
Very nice saturated all natural colours, the honey or gold coloured ground colour is especially nice. No colour bleeding or tip-fading anywhere. There is a fantastic light indigo and various shades or madder-based red, from a rose colour to deeply saturated. Then there is off-white, and varying shades of brown used for outlining and as central border ground colour. The brown in the border is a bit corroded in some places.
The rug measures 230 x 120 cm (7ft.5in. x 4ft.) and lies flat on the floor (the folds in the full view image came from the way it was hung). Warps are off white wool, wefts are wool, two shots after each row of knots in various shades of natural brown. The weaving (symmetrical knots) is quite coarse with no warp depression, a bit irregular and relatively loose, 5.5 knots per inch vertical to 6.5 horizontal (ca. 36 kpsi). Pile length is 10 mm in the best areas (lower in other areas, and worn with pile loss in some central areas). The selvages are one thick cord wrapped in off-white wool, probably not original.
There is loss to the outer plain brown and red guard borders at the top and bottom, more at the top. Should be secured, although not currently unravelling. While the pile is quite good in many areas, showing moderate wear, the central area is heavily worn, as can be seen in the pictures. The foundation remains intact here apart from one small hole (with remaining warps) in the right border adjacent to the selvage (can be seen in the close-up of the backside). The selvages (one thick cord wrapped in off-white wool) may not be original.
There is a bit of coarse repiling in the outer right border (visible at the right in the picture showing the central wear area). Apart from that I see no other repairs. The rug could quite easily be 'cut-and-shut' to eliminate the central worn area and make a smaller rug of good condition (if your sense of integrity does not rebell against this thought).
The rug has no cuts, stains, glue or stiff areas. While it was absolutely filthy when I got it, but is has just been carefully and thoroughly washed and is now clean.