IN CHELEBI MAGICIANS’ VALLEY30 May 2017
Actually, a good friend of mine (N.) persuaded me to pop into CHELEBI. “Those gorgeous cushions are a must-see! And cute little ceramic kittens and rabbits…I’d buy them all, but I can’t!”… Yet, not trusting her feedback too much (since she always tends to exaggerate things which she won’t admit even under the fear of torture!) I managed to carve out some time to visit the shop. And lucky me, it wasn’t that hard to find. But… wait a minute.
To begin with, I had to seek the assistance of Mr Know-it-All. Well, my long-time pal Google Maps gave me a few links: Ganjlik Mall, Intourist Hotel and Carpet Museum… I’ve selected the nearest shop to my office and lucky me again, found CHELEBI main store, so to say head office for Chelebi Furniture & Décor on Uzeyir Hajibeyov street. As I entered this boutique full of re-contemplated ancient stuff, what immediately caught my attention were not those beautiful cushions and cute rabbits, but rather that “very special entourage” or otherwise the ambience of the showroom, as one might call it. Soft lighting and kilims spread on the floor, vases on the tables decorated with pomegranate flowers, furniture sets that seemed to be almost traditional, but when I came closer…
FURNITURE WITH BAKU ACCENT
When I came closer, the objects demonstrated the whole extent of their authentic character. Greater details may be seen from a distance, but believe me – minute details are seen at a closer look.
A sofa with upholstery material that distinctly repeats the ornaments of antique ZeyKhor rug, an armchair with a batch of stupefying harmel*, a chair recalling déjà vu sentiments, Goody-Goody Fatima and Gloomy Hasan couple…I seem to have seen them somewhere… Maybe in one of the old black-and-white movies?… My scepticism towards the stories told by my friend was… completely WRONG, and it was that rare case when N. was RIGHT. 2 Mestans* of all kinds and colours, poppies and smooth coated rabbits standing in a line as if calling you with their cute sights: “Pick me up or better take me home!”. If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you will enjoy touching them!.. Let me come down to the core of the subject. Each piece of this beauty costs only 15 AZN! So I dipped into my pocket right away and bought a present for my friend – a dashing cat in fashion glasses and bowtie will blow away melancholy of her everyday life.
STAND OF MODERN ANCIENT STUFF
Finally, I reached those cushions and felt myself like in a small art gallery … According to sales consultants, these cushions are best-sellers among customers and the reason is obvious. They are anything but plain: depicting illustrations of folk tales; monochromatic engravings of everyday scenes in Baku life; sophisticated shabaka and still-life paintings…
I must confess, that the one with winged angel, an element of frescos in the palace of Sheki khans impressed me the most… Yes, you were absolutely right – visiting this store equals a museum tour, where we have a chance to see works of notable artists. Unlike museums with their strict “DO NOT TOUCH” rules, you can buy unique decoration items for reasonable prices (yes, indeed location of CHELEBI in Port Baku Shopping Mall doesn’t mean jaw-dropping prices) and take your treasure with you right away… And then under the green shade of mulberry you will fall into a reverie, leaning on picturesque cushions, while making exciting plans and drinking flavourful tea from a mug created by someone from Chelebi Magicians’ Valley…Well, talking about tea, I managed to buy a huge pack of loose-leaf black tea with thyme and two hand-frescoed ceramic mugs, with a plan in my mind to enjoy a tea-party on one of the wonderful Sundays, while having an endless chat with my dearest N.
Text: Nonna Muzaffarova