Ersari Rugs

Guide to Ersari Rugs and Carpets

History / Background

Since tribal confederations are pretty well extinct the only practical way I can find to define Ersari is on a linguistic basis. I propose that anyone who speaks Ersari or an Ersari dialect as his native language is Ersari. How those Ersari think of themselves is not particularly germane to the discussion of how they are Ethno-linguisticly grouped.

I suggest that the Ersari are in fact the direct descendents of the Oghuz Turks. That the Seljuk Turks that conquered Iran and Turkey were also Ersari. The seljuks were the elite and their people were the Azeri. I suggest that Ersari and Azeri are different spelling and accent on the same word and that Turkmen as a language can be seen as Western Azeri.

Following Czarist General Petroosevitchin about 1881: “The Ersari are divided into four great divisions:

Number of Tents. Locality.
Kara – – 20,000 – Khoja-Kunduz
Ooloo (Ulu) -Tapa 20,000 – Khalatch and Pelvart
Kooniash – 15,000 • Zengi-Baba and Astan-Baba.
Bekaoul – 2,000 – Boordalik, on the right side of the
In all – 57,000 river, opposite Khoja – Kunduz.

Rug Structure:

Warp: wool, Z2S (It is not unheard-of to see hair, sheep or goat?)

Weft: wool, two shoots. (It is not unusual to see hair, sheep or goat?)

Pile: wool asymmetrical knot open to the left. (Kizil Ajak and some Beshir open to the right)

Density: About 56 KPSI. Usually slightly more Vertical than horizontal such as 6-7H by 7-9V or 11H by 13V. The Marechal Taghan Ensi averages 143 kpsi and is very fine for an Ersari weaving. (If it is much finer than that then Salor must be considered.)

Ends: Most often Kilem skirts usually red with blue and or yellow stripes. Warp faced plain weave skirts are not uncommon as well (See Andkhoy Turkmen)

Size: It is unusual to see an old one that is much larger than 9 ½ by 7. The exception are the city made Beshir carpets which can be much larger. See Ersari Beshir Carpet, 12 ft. 7 in. by 5 ft. 8 in. Bags and trappings can be any size. The largest juvals I have ever seen were Ersari (about 5 by 6 ½ feet).

Color: Bright reds such as we see in Salors and Tekkes are rare in Ersari weaving. Bluish reds are not very common either. Softer reds, brick, dusty rose, brownish reds are more the rule. Blues can range from almost black to robins egg blue (robins egg blue is seen in rugs from Labijar see Labijar Taghan Main Carpet). It is not unusual to see small amounts of bright colorfast yellow in antique Ersari rugs. (See Ersari Mafrash).


Lattice Ersari Main Carpet

Lattice Ersari Main Carpet

Warp: Ivory wool, Z2S.

Weft: Pale pink wool Z2S, two shoots.

Knot: Asymmetric, left, horizontal 6, vertical I5, 90 per square inch.

Colors: RUST-RED, orange-red, dark blue, blue-green, ivory, yellow, brown.

Size: 8’3″ x 4’9″.

Sides: Not original.

Upper end: Two-three shoots, rust-red wefts.

Lower end: Not original.

Condition: Thin, patches on sides, bottom borders not original and from another rug, reduced in length by at least one gul.

This is possibly one of the earliest rugs of this type. Evidence for this is the kotshaks (ram’s horns) on the vertical axes of the diamond guls and the eclectic patterning of the vertical borders. The colors are typical of the “lattice” Ersari group as are the multitudinous small flowers. The use of dark blue and a strong, unfading bluish green in an alternating diagonal sequence is standard.

These rugs are indeed rare and surprisingly have received little attention. In addition to the colors and design which are distinct among Turkoman weavings, the creamy, ivory warps and pinkish wefts are other distinctive characteristics.

The horizontal/vertical knot ratio of about 1 to 2.5 is unusual. The knots are tightly compacted but the handle is supple. On pieces with original edges, they are frequently overcast in blue-green wool. The wool is soft, which explains why so few of these rugs have survived in good condition.

The field has been reduced by at least one foot. At 8’3″ long the rug is very atypical for the group. The length of floor rugs of this group is usually two and a half times the width. It is doubtful that any rugs of this type were woven after the third quarter of the l9th century.

Beshir prayer rug Late 19th C.

Beshir prayer rug Late 19th C.

Minor losses to pile, minor repair.

Size 250 x 110 cm


The Lebensbaum motif is interpreted here in three linear stems, which form at the top to a prayer gable with high hook crowning. Other pattern elements, such as most of the comparative pieces of this rare group, were omitted in the ivory-framed inner panel. The high-pitched carpet emphasizes the totem-like character of the Mihrab motif.

A rare Ersari prayer rug Late 19th C.

A rare Ersari prayer rug Late 19th C.

Size 183 x 120 cm


Prayer motifs of the Ersari- and Beschir-Turkmen with horn-like crowned pediments are known. The exceptional feature of this piece is the rhombus / cassette grid, shown in the prayer field and in the main border, as well as the interlocking girders with small rosettes to sides of the gable. Beautiful fleshy pile.

Ersari Rug circa 1875

Ersari Rug circa 1875


An Ersari rug, South Turkestan, circa 1875

Original flatwoven ends, foldwear, minor moth damage. Approximately 5ft. 9in. by 4ft. 5in.

An Ersari Rug  Fragment, South Turkestan 

AN Ersari Rug Fragment, SOUTH TURKESTAN,


Approximately 13ft. 2in. by 11ft. (4.01 by 3.35m.)


Circa 1910 oxidized charcoals, restitching.

Turkmen Ersari Carpet

Turkmen Ersari Carpet

Four rows of well-drawn Tauk-Nuska guls with crests; secondary tchemche ornaments and 8-pointed stars alternate in green and indigo.

Size:305 x 183 cm / 10’0 x 6’0

Region: Central Asia – Turkmen – Ersari

Item Type: Rugs and Carpets

Period / Date: 19th century – mid (1834 – 1866)

Structure / Technique: Red wool pile

Comments On Condition: Minimal wear and reknotting, original selvedges and kilim warp finishes.

Ersari Carpet

Ersari Carpet


332 by 212cm., 10ft. 11in. by 7ft.

Antique Ersari Dragon & Phoenix rug

Antique Ersari Dragon & Phoenix rug

The two headed folded dragons are topped by relatively straight two headed birds.

Small repairs , showing some wear.


Ersari Sullayman Turkmen Main Carpet

Ersari Sullayman Turkmen Main Carpet

Warps: Wool and or hair, some white and some dark.

Wefts: darned if I can tell from this photo but I would expect double wefted with dark brown wool wefts.

Knots: 7 h and 11v

Pile: wool

Note that it is missing two outside borders on the two fringe ends.

Note the different colors of warp wool used as indicated in one of the scans.

Note the bright red used in two rows of the main gulls.

Note the flesh color, two different blues, three different reds, small amounts of white and yellow.

Ersari Trapping Circa 1875 

Ersari Trapping Circa 1875


An Ersari trapping, SouthTurkestan, circa 1875

Partial original kilim ends, cotton whites, losses to sides.

Approximately 1ft. 9in. by 5ft. 10in. (0.53 by 1.78m.)


Ersari Asmalyk 

Ersari Asmalyk

Country of origin: Central Asia, Region Amu-Darja

1st century 19th century

Dimensions: 72 x 142 cm

Early 19th c. Ersari Turkman Main Carpet

Early 19th c. Ersari Turkman Main Carpet

Origin: Central Asia, Amu Darja Region, early 19th c.

Size: ca. 290 x 209 cm

This archaic and energetic carpet is coarsely knotted, heavy, and very colourful. Sides newly wrapped, pile partly reduced, scattered restorations.

Mid 19th C. Ersary

Mid 19th C. Ersary

Origin: Central Asia, Amu Darja Region, mid 19th c.

Size: ca. 202 x 174 cm

Arsary/Ersari Main Carpet 2nd half 19 century
Arsary/Ersari Main Carpet 2nd half 19 century

MEASUREMENTS: 330 x 231 cm

An expressionful Ersari Turkmen main carpet with Gülli Güls and secondary star motives, probably developed in the region around Kerki. Intensive colors, bright red tones, strongly gezwirnte, brown chaining threads and black-brown shots. – Very well received with full Flor, original touched kelim ends, broad, earthbrown flat fabric ski Razi, some repaired tears and small holes.

Arsary/Ersari Main Carpet Early 19 century
Arsary/Ersari Main Carpet Early 19 C

First half 19th century

MEASUREMENTS: 281 x 217 cm

This early main carpet of the Ersari Turkmen with 3 x 7 Gülli Güls is noticeable by its archaic secondary motives. The bright colors and the generous sample plant speak for an emergence in the 1. Half 19. Century. – Cut, ends somewhat, Flor reduces sides somewhat in parts low.