Dating from the 17th to the 19th century, dragon rugs are a part of much larger group of Quba rugs, named after a town located in Azerbaijan Republic nearby the Caspian Sea. Rich coloring and complex pattern that combine elegant motifs with mysterious Caucasian symbolism earned them a place among the finest carpets ever known to men. Among antique Quba carpets are chi-chi prayer rugs, famed for their elegance and creative designs.
Most basic dragon rug patterns consist of irregular bands forming an ogee lattice, seen in Kerman vase carpets. Because of this similarity, some scholars theorize that dragon rugs were in fact based on them, although they also have quite a few shared traits with Chinese woven goods. Early pieces are usually very narrow, decorated by a single border and drop-repeated. The weavers hid the most interesting part of their designs between bands – fantastic creatures, ranging from modified (and nearly unrecognizable) Chinese dragons and lions, often accompanied by more ordinary creatures, such as fawns, wild donkeys, and cranes. Sadly, as designs started to develop, all animals disappeared from piles, save for immortal dragons. Made of high quality wool, dragon carpets have beautiful color palettes made of natural dyes.
Dragon rugs are a proof that Middle Asia is a treasure chest waiting to be opened. While classic Oriental and Persian rugs are still tremendously popular among collectors, dragon rugs were not left behind and gain more and more interest with each passing day.