Antique Bessarabian rugs in pile and tapestry technique occupy a unique place among European carpets. Produced during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries under late Ottoman Turkish rule in an area corresponding to modern Bulgaria and Rumania, they stand right on the cusp of European and Oriental carpet weaving. Many of the designs are floral patterns made in a naturalistic western style utilizing brown or black ground, not unlike certain Karabaghs from the Caucasus. But others, particularly flatweaves, reflect the tradition of Turkish kilims from nearby Anatolia, although in a distinctive Bessarbian palette. In either case they are supremely decorative pieces.
Knotted-pile carpets from Eastern Europe and Russia have for years been referred to as “Ukrainian,” with their flatwoven counterparts being “Bessarabian,” and their precise origins remaining unknown, although it can most likely be attributed to Romania. Carpet production in Russia is believed to have begun under Peter the Great (1682-1725) in the Imperial Tapestry Factory near St. Petersburg. Knotted-pile and flatwoven carpets were woven there in the 18th and 19th centuries most often in the court-favored “French” style.
Carpet weaving in Russia flourished during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796) who commissioned carpets for many of her palaces. These carpets often featured a deep brown-black ground and a dense overall floral design, as in the carpet offered here and that from Leeds Castle in Kent sold Sotheby”s London, 16 October 1996, lot 179.
The floral cartouche design and vivid coloring of the present carpet closely resembles Victorian needlepoint carpets that were produced throughout England and Europe, including Russia, in the 19th century. The trompe-l'oeil draping border of this carpet recalls those found on the earliest Louis XIV Savonnerie table carpets, illustrating the continuum of fascination with French style by the Russian nobility.
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20 Rugs Found in Bessarabian Kilim
Woven with colorful accents on a soft blue field with a luxurious patina and textural abrash, this Bessarabian represents the regional style and local tribal traditions.
This wonderful antique Bessarabian kilim from Roumania has a lovely array of floral sprays surrounded by a vinescroll border.
This lovely antique Bessarabian Kilim from Romania has sprays of naturalistic plants and flowers influenced by the realistic floral detail of French Aubusson flatwoven carpets.
This striking antique Bessarabian Kilim from Roumania has the customary floral sprays and vines, but treated much more abstractly, like the geometric kilim style of nearby Turkey.
Woven in modern-day Romania, this antique Bessarabian kilim features a delightful collection of stylized botanical motifs that have a natural sophistication.
Crafted in the early 20th century, this charming Bessarabian kilim depicts naturalistic floral decorations imbued with warmth, whimsy and a touch of elegance.
Featuring stylized bouquets with a Persian influence, this dramatic carpet is a unique Bessarabian design piece.
The unique border with cropped floral patterns gives the composition of this antique Bessarabian rug a contemporary feeling.
A vinescroll border frames the beautiful floral pattern in this Bessarabian kilim.
Crafted in the first quarter of the 20th century, this dazzling antique Romanian kilim depicts a host of angular tribal symbols melded with Bessarabian influences.
This Bessarabian rug features traditional roses, dramatic bouquets and ivory vines that contrast strongly against the solid field.
Drawn in a charming bucolic style, this antique Bessarabian kilim features a casual botanical medallion executed in a posh selection of blushing pink and ecru.
Crafted in the historic region of Bessarabia, this charming antique Romanian kilim displays a lovely collection of floral motifs arranged in a formal composition.
Woven with a formal neoclassical composition, this charming Bessarabian carpet combines formal architectural elements and gentle floral borders to create a harmonious blend of sophisticated and casual elements.
Woven in the early 20th century, this ornate antique Bessarabian Kilim features an archetypal series of lush floral bouquets that have tremendous decorative appeal.
Styled according to Romanian ideals, this antique Bessarabian kilim depicts a charming pattern of whimsical florets and stars based on traditional weaving devices.
Antique Bessarabian tapestry rugs or kilims like this lovely example are famed for their naturalistic patterns of floral garlands and bouquets
Crafted in Romania, this phenomenal early 20th century Bessarabian kilim has an exuberance and stylistic purity that is readily apparent in its folk-art designs.
This reserved, elegant antique Karabagh has a design inspired by French Aubusson carpets.
This elegant antique Bessarabian kilim carpet from Roumania is inspired by classic French Aubusson tapestry.
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