Antique Persian Kurdish Bidjar Sampler Rug, Origin: Persia, Circa: Last quarter of the 19th century– The colors and spontaneous rug designs of the Kurdish tribes are what make them popular among collectors and designers. This carpet is from the town of Bidjar and was created around the last quarter of the 19th century. Many of the rugs are woven by entire families in many of the villages surrounding this Northwestern Iranian town. They are known for their diverse range of colors, showing the skill of both the dyers and weavers.
One of the most charming aspects of Kurdish rugs is the level of creative expression that they demonstrate. The signs and symbols woven into them reflect a language that is taught to the children and is part of the cultural heritage. Sometimes, you can even see a few rows that are imperfect and that show the unsteadiness of hands that are just learning a new skill, then in the next few rows, more skilled hands, and more even knots resume. This is one of the characteristics that makes Kurdish rugs unique. Children learn the skill at an early age by participating along with the rest of the family.
This is a sampler rug, or wagireh, which is a rug that is intended to demonstrate the patterns for the creation of other rugs. Often, these were smaller, but this sampler is large enough to function as a floor rug. The rug shows several different border patterns and several of the designs in mirror images. It provides several different design components. It also shows several different horizontal mirror images and color variations on the theme. This carpet could be used as a pattern for a larger rug, allowing the artist easy access to the pattern elements.
This is interesting as a collector’s piece, as it provides insight into the rug making process and how designs were transmitted. These were undoubtedly well-kept secrets, as they would have allowed another shop to copy the patterns of another. As an interior design piece, the gorgeous colors and patterns of this antique rug make the perfect addition to this year’s color trends that include Living Coral, Romance Pink, and Bluebird.