View Our Tribal Selection of Persian Antique Baluch Rugs

Baluch Rugs – Antique Baluch rugs are a unique phenomenon in the world of antique Oriental rugs. Rather than originating from one specific, easily identified region, Baluch rugs are actually expressive of an extraordinarily wide range of styles. After a fashion, the style that characterizes Baluch rugs is more of an amalgamation of Turkish rugs, Persian rugs and Caucasian rug styles than a distinct style in and of itself. This is largely due to the fact that the historical region where Baluch rugs have been produced, Baluchistan, is no longer an independent, autonomous region.

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This historical region is referred to as Baluchistan. Today, this historical region exists on either side of the border between Iran and Pakistan, though, in the past, it was a semi-autonomous nation, unified by the Baluch language.Today, Baluch is defined according to Iranian law, and is divided into subgroups where more distinct styles arise. However, the main area for weaving was in the are around the border between Iran and Afghanistan, giving rise to the hybrid of styles reflected in the antique rugs of Baluchistan. The rugs are defined by their coarsely woven structure and their tree of life motif. They can be primarily recognized by their exceptional wool quality and color combination.

Information About Antique Baluch Rugs

Baluch Rugs– Within the antique Oriental rugs milieu familiar to collectors and rug enthusiasts, no single group of rugs has had a more checkered or contested career than Baluch rugs and carpets, woven by tribes people in eastern Persia and western Afghanistan.

Perhaps the most rudimentary (and most common) arguments against these tribal pieces came from decorators who often found Baluches to be too dark with a relatively restricted range of colors and minimal use of ivory or white. They also pointed to their fragility, due largely to the looseness of their weave and the softness of their wool.

Creative or historical opponents, however, argued that most of the designs encountered in Baluch weavings could be paralleled closely to the rugs of the neighboring Turkoman tribes, or in the city and village rugs of nearby Iran. This made Baluches derivative and therefore less creative or authentic.

Those in the trade even argued that historically these rugs were never as valuable as other rugs from geographically proximate areas in Persia, the Caucasus, or Turkey. Dealers acquired them cheaply and in times past tended to give them away as deal sweeteners when someone bought a few room-size Persian rugs or Caucasian rugs.

Baluch Rugs by Nazmiyal
Baluch Rug

Naturally they were never treated with the respect that the more valuable rugs were treated with and many have been lost, destroyed, or succumbed to overuse and abuse.

Nowadays plenty of collectors appreciate Baluches in spite of the prejudice that they have incurred in the past. Coloration is mostly a matter of taste, and there are those who admire the deep burgundy reds, maroons, and salmon tones of many Baluches.

Indeed, when one bears in mind that Baluch bags were often used in bright Middle eastern sunlight on the backs of pack animals, or that oversize rugs and carpets were spread outdoors beneath the awning at the entrance to Baluch black tents, the dark palette of many Baluches becomes more intelligible.

Moreover, some types of Baluch are more brightly colored with more extensive palettes. Khorassan Baluches from eastern Persia are famed for their saturated vibrant red tones with far more use of ivory. The older rugs of this type also seem to have more colors.

Antique Baluch Rugs by Nazmiyal
Antique Baluch Rugs

The same is true of older Timuri Baluch bags and carpets, which often have wonderful oranges, yellows and greens, along with the deeper reds, maroons, and blues. Baluch enthusiasts also appreciate that the fragility of their weave is no cause for contempt, but that it reflects the nomadic background of the rugs, which were made for use over felt mats on soft earth in or near tents.

There they were walked on with sheepskin boots or slippers, not with hard leather shoe soles over wood or stone floors as they came to be used in the West. Nor are enthusiasts likely to criticize the delicate, soft, lustrous wool so widely used in Baluch weaving, despite its susceptibility to wear.

As for the charge that Baluches are derivative of the weaving from neighboring tribes or regions like Turkomans, proponents would say “so what” — Turkoman rugs themselves are the result of a long evolution out of early forms inspired by classical Turkish and Persian rug design.

Nowadays, knowledgeable enthusiasts of nomadic rugs can appreciate that they are all by and large the result of tribal adaptations or transformations of urban rug design. In so far as Baluches are derived from Turkoman or Persian designs or motifs, they always exhibit a characteristic change that gives them a distinctive quality, instantly recognizable as a Baluch.

There are, in addition, a number of patterns or motifs that are original Baluch creations or transformations – tree of life patterns, geometric allover repeat designs, and diamond latch hook medallion patterns, to name a few. The condemnation of Baluches as derivative is on the whole a non-issue. And as to seeing them as inferior because they are cheap, the days of cheap antique Baluches have ceded to modern demand for these increasingly rare little tribal rugs.

There are critical standards that one can apply to evaluate a rug — complexity or rareness of design, control of drawing in weaving the design, transparency of color, or quality of wool, etc. — but on the whole, Baluch rugs stand up as well by such criteria as other tribal or village rug genres.

What constitutes a beautiful rug has always been a matter of taste, and it always will be. Those who do not appreciate Baluch rugs are entitled to their opinion, but they need to understand that such a negative judgment simply is their opinion, and nothing more.

The Pros and Cons of Antique Baluch Rugs

Baluch Rugs – Baluch enthusiasts appreciate that the fragility of their weave is no cause for contempt, but that it reflects the nomadic background of the Baluch rugs, which were made for use over felt mats on soft earth in or near tents.

There they were walked on with sheepskin boots or slippers, not with hard leather shoe soles over wood or stone floors as they came to be used in the West. Nor are enthusiasts likely to criticize the delicate, soft, lustrous wool so widely used in this unique antique rug style, despite its susceptibility to wear.

And as for the charge that Baluches are derivative of the weavings from neighboring tribes or regions like Turkomans, so what?

Baluch Rug by Nazmiyal
Baluch Rug

Turkoman antique rugs themselves are the result of a long evolution out of earlier forms inspired by classical Turkish and Persian rug design. Nowadays, knowledgeable enthusiasts of nomadic rugs can appreciate that they are all by and large the result of tribal adaptations or transformations of urban rug design.

In so far as Baluches are derived from Turkoman or Persian designs or motifs, they always exhibit a characteristic change that gives them a distinctive quality, instantly recognizable as a Baluch.

There are, in addition, a number of patterns or motifs that are original Baluch creations or transformations – tree of life patterns, geometric allover repeat designs, and diamond latch hook medallion patterns, to name a few. The condemnation of Baluches as derivative is on the whole a non-issue.

There are critical standards that one can apply to evaluate a rug – complexity or rareness of design, control of drawing in weaving the design, transparency of color, or quality of wool, etc., but on the whole Baluches stand up as well by such criteria as other tribal or village rug genres.

What constitutes a beautiful rug has always been a matter of taste, and it always will be. Those who do not appreciate Baluch weavings are entitled to their opinion, but they need to understand that such a negative judgment simply is their opinion, and nothing more.

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