Beautiful Collection of Romanian Antique Bessarabian Kilims and Rugs
Antique Bessarabian Kilims and rugs in both pile and tapestry weaving technique are some of the more beautiful carpets to have been produced in Europe. Many of the Bessarabian Kilims were woven around the mid to late 19th century, though some do date back to the 18th century as well. This production that carried into the early twentieth century under late Ottoman Turkish rule in an area corresponding to modern Bulgaria and Romania, 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 Caucauses. But others, particularly flat weaves, reflect the tradition of Turkish kilims from nearby Anatolia, although in a distinctive Bessarbian palette. In either case they are supremely decorative rugs.
Knotted pile carpets from Eastern Europe and Russia have for years been referred to as “Ukrainian,” with their flat woven 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 flat-woven kilims were woven there the 19th as well as the 18th 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.