The historic Khanate or administrative district of Shirvan produced many highly decorative antique rugs that have a formality and stylistic complexity that is found in few rugs from the Caucasus. The depth of colors, the complexity of the composition and the phenomenal patterns featured in antique Shirvan rugs set them apart from those produced in other regions of the Caucasus. Shirvan, which is part of modern-day Azerbaijan, was populated by Azerbaijani Turks and Armenians, who were expert dyers and weavers. The format is generally long and narrow, which would have been preferred by consumers in the Caucasus. This format lends itself well to multi-medallion compositions.
Grand symbol-filled medallions with poly chrome accents are featured prominently as are all-over Afshan patterns, which are a sort of angular arabesque filled with dramatic harshang palmettes. Stunning allover patterns featuring symbolic devices and a latticework of angular floral sprigs are also used. Rugs from the Shirvan region include those produced in Marashali, Baku and other local cities and villages with the largest carpets coming from Baku. Regardless of the format or the patterns featured, antique Shirvan carpets are full of strong colors, powerful symbols and subtle details that add to their stylistic richness.