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rug in my possession Baluch with Aina Kochak lattice

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Baluch rugs are always difficult to attribute because there have been so many differing opinions and re-attribution attempts. If we follow the differentiaton by colour suggested by Tom Cole, the warm brick madder, the browns and the limited palette should point to an Afghan origin. Similar patterns and palettes occur in rugs that Jerry Anderson in his interview with Cole as attributed as 'Jehan Begi/Salar Khani' but these attributions have been contested. In any case, the pattern does not help in attribution: it is wide-spread, its variants also occur in Caucasian, Anatolian and even in South Persian (Luri) rugs.


A diamond lattice with its intersections adorned with small white rosettes which bring to mind the Mina Khani lattice. The lattice itself is filled with a variant of what Peter Stone has down as 'Aina Kochak' motif (B19, p. 108 of 'Tribal and Village Rugs - the definitive Guide to Design, Pattern and Motif'). Here, instead of a diamond, the centre of the Aina kochak motif is taken by five small rectangles distributed like on a dice face. On each side of the field repeat, a hooked tree grows from bottom to top, a motive that James Opie calls 'animal head trees' (p240, 'Tribal Rugs').

The 'leaf and calyx' (or 'wineglass') border is better known from South Caucasian and North Persian rugs. This variant shows clearly the floral origin of the 'wineglass': the triangular crocus-like shape ends in three pointed tips which are adorned with white highlights. The execution of the border is a bit clumsy, the secondary borders are of great simplicity.

An interesting feature are the two extra bands with cartouche-like small ornaments (rectangular and pointed hexagonal shapes alternating). More commonly such extra decorations top and bottom are part of the flat-woven skirts; here, they are executed in pile.


The rug measures 5ft.5in. x 2ft.11in. (165 x 90 cm). Weave not depressed. Ivory wool warps, thin double wefts (wool of different browns). 40/10 cm vertical, 26/10 cm horizontal = 1040 knots per dm2. Translated into kpsi, this is about 11.v, 7.h = 77 kpsi. The pile is low, but decent for an old Baluch, with browns lower, down to knot bases (corroded). Nice and soft wool. The handle is flexible and leathery. The rug takes a strange turn near the top end: witness the top left aina kotchak motif being nearly complete while its right neighbour is clipped. Maybe the weaver added aditional wefts on the left to secure a better matching of the calyx and leaf pattern at the corner turn of the main border, or to counteract some uneven tension. The flat selvedge has two cords wrapped in dark goat hair. There is about an inch of flat-woven brown and ivory skirt top and bottom.


A limited but effective palette of clearly all organic dyes: brick red madder with a bit of abrash, very dark indigo blue; medium browns, aubergine and reddish browns (probably achieved by overdying medium brown wool with madder and maybe a light bath of indigo). These browns show rather sudden changes of colour in the brown 'Aina Kochak' motives. Then there is a very dark (corroded) brown and a bit of ivory white.


Structurally sound and complete. Low but decent pile, best near the top, dark brown corroded, and both selvedges are a bit ragged and the flatwoven ends are currently not secured. Minor damage of pile in the lower left-hand corner, maybe with old repair/repling attempt, not sure. There is a tiny fingernail-sized hole in the right main border, near the top an area has been stabilized with fabric on the back (see images). The rug is not outright dirty, but would benefit from a gentle wash.

More images

Ana-kotchak-baluch - upper field

aina-kochak baluch - top left corner

aina-kochak baluch - top right corner

aina-kochak baluch - ornamnet on extra band at top

aina-kochak baluch - aina kotchak motif

aina-kochak baluch - goat hair selvedge

aina-kochak baluch - bottom field

aina-kochak baluch - back stablilized

Last update: 16 April 2011 | Impressum—Imprint