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Learn More About Persian Bakhtiari Rugs
Antique Persian Bakhtiari rugs are among the more intriguing and distinct styles of antique Persian rugs, boasting a fascinating historical heritage and expressing a unique aesthetic ideal. Bakhtiari rugs and carpets are one of the few types and styles of antique rugs that encompasses nomadic tribal as well as urban antique Persian rug design; most antique Persian rug styles will be expressive of either one aesthetic or the other, but only very rarely will it be expressive of both.
Many Persian Bakhtiari rugs and carpets are in fact tribal carpets that rely upon a repertoire of abstract geometric and animal motives. But the Persian Bakhtiari rug weavers are also acclaimed for their ability to produce sophisticated medallion allover, and garden designs of classical Persian inspiration, with an added vitality and boldness.
The wool quality and rich color of the Bakhtiari rug is also notable, whether they utilize an urban or more tribal design idiom. Some antique Bakhtiari rugs feature especially vibrant and expressive urban Persian rug designs, steeped in classical beauty and resplendent with traditional, classical design elements. Often, when a Bakhtiari rug features a sophisticated composition like this, it will be characterized by impeccable line work and precise drawing. Detail elements tend tone crisp and distinct, with the pattern beautifully articulated. A unique style of antique Persian Bakhtiari rugs and carpets are quite exciting.
History Of Antique Persian Bakhtiari Rugs
In the rather isolated Zagros Mountains live tribes of people who are known around the world for both their tenacity and their artistry. The Bakhtiari tribes have earned this reputation for artistry since they create amazing antique tribal rugs and carpets. It is easy to spot these lovely creations thanks to their cornucopia designs that are applied in large scale. These rugs have been admired for centuries. When an early 20th century traveler saw these weavings in the Central Persian Chahar Mahal district, he commented that they were some of the most interesting Persian carpets he had seen in all of his travels. He went on to praise the artisans’ strength, sincerity and individuality. These traits are still seen today in each Bakhtiari carpet.
Geometric designs are the hallmark of rugs from Chahar Mahal weavers, including Armenian, Bakhtiari, and Kurdish rug weavers. However, the influence of nearby Persian weavers, especially those living in the city of Isfahan, brought a floral flair to the designs. Because of this, the rugs blend the two styles in a beautifully unique way. The legendary Bakhtiari khans commissioned massive, palace-sized Bakhtiari carpets that became some of the most prized antique carpets today.
Exportation of antique Persian Bakhtiari rugs did not begin until the 1930’s, so these now antique rugs were traditionally created for use within the tribe or throughout Persia. Artisans used natural vegetable carpet dyes to apply luminous colors to their designs. Since they are produced using an extremely durable wool containing lanolin, they still retain much of their beauty today.
Each oversized rug for Bakhtiar was a group effort among numerous weavers, dyers, and other craftsmen. One rug commonly took up to six years to complete due to the complexity of the designs and the size of the carpets. These weavers met their artistic challenges without modern equipment and conveniences, which makes their achievements even more impressive.
Although most Bakhtiari rugs follow a common theme, that doesn’t mean that they all look alike or even similar. Instead, these rugs each have a beautiful uniqueness that keeps them so well-loved. Some 19th century Persian Bakhtiari carpets feature a Guli Farang design. This phrase, which means Foreign Flower, includes romantic tones similar to English cabbage flower designs.
Other garden design motifs feature either a variety of square compartments or a lattice of delicate, bell-shaped compartments filled with vibrant colors and changing pastoral scenes for impressive variety. However, the central medallion design is by far the most used by Persian Bakhtiari carpet weavers.
If you are searching for a Bakhtiari rug in today’s market, you will most likely be able to locate rugs woven in and after the 1920’s. However, earlier vintage rugs, such as those from the 19th century and the turn of the 20th century, are extremely difficult to locate for purchase due to their popularity. The oversized antique Persian Bakhtiari carpets are a popular choice among owners of today’s sprawling estates and large country homes, so they continually stay at high demand with accompanying high prices. Because of this, these more tribal rugs also have excellent investment potential for collectors.