This rug belongs to a very rare group of tribal weavings about which little is known.
There appears to be only five (5) published examples. (See addendum in the Literature section below.)
Three (3) are attributed to 'Baluch' weavers.
See: W. Grote-Hasenbalg, Der Orientteppich, 1922, vol. 3, pl. 96
See: Bausback, Franz, Alte Knupfarbeiten Der Belutscher, p. 8, (1980)
See: MacDonald, Brian, Tribal Rugs, p. 224, pl. # 163 (1997)
Two (2) of the rugs with similar design, structure and color are attributed to Ersari-Beshir weavers.
See: Hali # 47 - Auction Price Guide, p. 90, October, 1989
See Elmby, Hans - Antique Turkmen Carpets, # 4, (1988), p. 32, pl. 59
All five have these elements: similar hand panel placement, similar symbolic designs in the hand panels, a 'kurbaghe' gul in the mihrab, two guls in the lower field and strong Turkmen color and design influences in the border.
All dyes are from natural dye sources.
The age of this rug is difficult to determine with precision.
Elements of color, space and design suggest perhaps mid-century origin but that is subject to good faith discussion and, perhaps, disagreement.
Regardless, it is old, rare and a welcome addition to the collection of one who holds tribal artifacts in high esteem.
Condition: Very good. Full pile with no damage or wear.