Armenian silk rug

The Armenian  Apostolic Church is the world’s oldest . It is part of oriental orthodoxy and is one of the most ancient Christian communities.Armenia  was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in AD 301.

In the Muslim world, rugs have a number of functions: as platforms for prayer, as seating mats, bed and table covers or indeed items for sale. In pre – Islamic times the carpets of the orient served as reflections of the heavens, and their symbols were designed as protection and as a means to carry the soul to the next world.

The old rugs found new homes outside the Islamic world and many were treasured and preserved, with the result that far more antique rugs have survived outside of their countries of origin.  Whereas in the mosques such rugs were used on the floor, the Europeans admired and respected this great art and often displayed the carpets on their tables and walls both as symbols of wealth and status, and as ‘works of art;

 Very few dated rugs survive, and the dates that some of them do bear, often in ink, do not mark the year they were made but were added later. The dates on several of the rugs in the churches , for example, usually indicate when they were donated to the church – they may well have been in private collections for many years previously.


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