Beautiful All Over Design Antique Persian Bidjar Rug , Country of Origin / Rug Type: Antique Persian Rugs, Circa Date: Late 19th Century – This stunning Persian Bidjar carpet features a striking color combination and magnificent all-over design. Bidjar is a small town located in the northwestern portion of Iran, south of Tabriz. The area was once a center of the Persian carpet industry and Bidjar had a number of small workshops that produced rugs with unique designs. This particular carpet has several unique features that make it stand out.
Bidjar was known for producing larger commissioned works and smaller carpets, too. Aside from the rugs produced by trained artists and weavers, rural tribal carpets were also produced. The precision and carefully planned design of this carpet support its production by formally trained weavers in the city. The use of color and design comes together in a way that creates a spectacular visual impact.
The designs, colors, craftsmanship, and durable materials are what make Bidjar carpets stand out and allowed them to become highly collectible throughout Europe. The secret is in the weaving technique used by Bidjar weavers. They used heavy warp threads and an extra weft row. They wet the weft rows before packing them tightly. This makes them shrink and create a tighter weave. They were so tightly packed that they are known as the “iron rugs” of Persia. It is not unusual to find one that is a couple of hundred years old in almost perfect condition. These carpets tend to be heavy compared to other carpets of a similar size, and they are stiffer to the touch.
All-over patterns were produced in both the larger Bidjar weaving centers and smaller villages of the area. The pattern on this rug is unique and is known as the Guli Farang. This is a large-scale design that is typically worked on either a dark blue or in this case, an ivory background. The characteristic four-leaf repeating motif is believed to be a stylized cabbage blossom or a formal English garden. The design uses a full range of colors, including greens, blues and browns. The colors of the carpet create an autumnal scheme that gives it a regal and refined character.
This is an excellent example of a classic Bidjar design, but it has several features that make it unique and possibly point to it being a commissioned piece, rather than a carpet intended for the mass market. First, the borders are narrow, compared to typical Bidjar carpets. Also, the outer border has a plain background and has evenly spaced boteh symbols. The boteh is the symbol of eternal life or a flame. Perhaps the most unique feature is the Persian writing at the top.
As a collectible, this antique carpet is unique and points to a unique history woven into its threads. We will never know the real story of this carpet, but we do know that it was created for a particular purpose by an exceptionally talented artist. Bidjar carpets are still highly desirable, and a unique piece such as this deserves a special place in a collection.