All hand-woven carpets are one of a kind, but a special few stand out as truly unique from among them. The “Gohar Carpet”, woven in Armenia in 1149, is one of these. The colors and patterns of this 12th century masterpiece are evocative of antique Caucasian weaving, but the truly unique aspect of this piece is the long Armenian religious script near the top. The text was translated by eminent linguist Norayr de Byzance in 1908 as:
“I, Gohar, full of sin and weak of soul, with my newly learned hands wove this rug. whosoever reads this say a word of mercy to God for me. In the year 1149.”
The Armenian calendar date is equivalent to 1679–1680 A.D. The “Gohar Carpet” is unusual in that it records the maker’s name. (Gohar or Kohar remains a popular girl’s name in Armenia). The carpet was made for the woman’s church and was probably used only for ceremonial occasions as it remains in an exceptional state of preservation.
We hope you enjoyed this brief look at an exquisite and rare carpet from the distant past. The Gohar carpet was sold to a private collector in 2003. Follow us on facebook for more updates like these!
-Serafian’s Oriental Rugs, Nov. 2015