Rug weaving in the Caucasus extends back at least to medieval times, as fragments of knotted pile carpet from the 13th and 14th centuries have been uncovered in several cave complexes in Georgia. There is also reason to believe that the Persian Shāh ʿAbbās during the 17th century established manufactories in the Shirvan and Karabagh districts whose products included carpets, and a surviving group of large 17th- and 18th-century carpets may well be from this enterprise. Among the designs used were the avshan (geometrized calyx and stem), the harshang (crab), and a bold lattice design with stylized animals, including dragons, in the interstices. Almost certainly these carpets were based upon Persian prototypes, although they are characterized by bold, vigorous designs rather than traditional Persian fineness of weave.
Azerbaijan State Carpet Museum, also known as the State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art, is a museum located on Neftchiler Avenue, in the center of Baku, Azerbaijan. The museum displays Azerbaijani carpets and rug items of various weaving techniques and materials from various periods. It is named after Latif Karimov and has the largest collection of Azerbaijani carpets in the world.
The museum was established in 1967 and was located in the Juma Mosque in Icheri Sheher. The mosque was built in the 15th century and then renovated in the 19th century. In 1992, after the collapse of USSR, the museum was moved to the building of the former Lenin museum. The museum was named after the carpet designer Latif Karimov. Its first exhibition was held in 1972. The collection of the museum includes over 10,000 items of ceramics, metal works of 14th century, jewellery from the Bronze Age, carpets and carpet items from 17th-20th centuries, national garments and embroidery, and applied art works of modern age.
The museum organizes public lectures, study courses on carpets and applied arts. It has a book store selling books on Azerbaijani crafts and carpet art. The museum also holds a permanent collection from the Shusha Museum of History, from the city of Shusha, looted after occupation by Armenian troops in 1992. Part of the exhibited items of the Shusha museum were saved when the director of the museum moved out 600 carpets before occupation. They are now displayed at the museum in an exhibition titled "Burned Culture".
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