In the 19th century, the Kum Kapi district became an important production center for exceptionally high quality silk carpets.
Designers, weavers and producers of virtually all of these carpets were Armenians. Recently, we have come to learn some of the names of these great master weavers, which include Hagop Kapukjian and Zareh Penyamin (Penyamian). Documentary evidence of their work was encoded through their secret signatures that were placed by them upon the original hand drawn and signed sketches of the designs.
Among all of the classic types of carpets woven in Anatolia and modern Turkey, the Kum Kapi rugs produced in the Armenian quarters of Constantinople between 1880-1924 are considered the most highly praised and sophisticated types. The estimated number of these rugs still surviving throughout the world are in the few hundreds. Taking into consideration their age and size, the Kum Kapi rugs are the most expensive carpets of the world.
Avak Shirinian is the last and most important representative of the Armenian silk carpet school of Kum Kapi and should be recognized as one of the great master weavers of our time.
Please view the slideshow chronicling an Armenian Rugs Society presentation by Hratch Kozebeokian on this amazing woven arts topic.
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