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Antique Southwest Persian Village Rug

Antique Southwest Persian Village Rug


233 x 135 cm / 7'8''x 4'5''


This southwest Persian village rug was possibly made in the Chahar Mahal district by a woman from either the Qashqai or the Luri tribe. The attribution is difficult in this case for a number of reasons. The design of the three, interconnected hooked medallions on the dark blue ground  of the field would suggest Qashqai origin, very much like the designs found on numerous Qashqai bags. The top and bottom ends of the rug in blue and white and in red and green are also frequently found in Qashqai carpets. However,  James Opie, in his Tribal Rugs of Southern Persia (Oregon, James Opie Oriental Rugs, 1981, pp. 132/3), attributes a similar carpet to the Luri tribe, and among them possibly the sub-tribal grouping of the Boyer Ahmadi, whose territory is adjacent to that of the Bakhtiari. In his description of the rug illustrated on page 133 he points out the heavy handle, the comparative stiffness of the wool and the coarseness of the weave, usually typical of Luri weavings – all features which are absent in our piece. On the other hand, the predominance of very angular designs in the field around the medallions would support an attribution to the Luri.

The design of the main border also poses a number of questions: starting off as a leaf and flower border, it disintegrates two thirds up the carpet into a much more abstract pattern. All of this adds up to a rug which is very difficult to date. It is  in such splendid condition that one might suppose it to be not very old. However, the colours are all naturally dyed, and we are not aware of any rugs of this type having been woven since the re-introduction of vegetable dyes in Iran. Whatever age it is, it is certainly a very beautifully woven rug with the best quality wool and great colour and originality.