Bessarabian Kilim Rug Collection
Browse Through Stunning Collection Of Bessarabian Kilim Rugs
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Learn More About Romanian Antique Bessarabian Kilims and Rugs
Antique Bessarabian Rugs / Kilims 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 Karabagh rugs from the Caucauses. But others, particularly flat weaves, reflect the tradition of Turkish kilims from nearby Anatolia, although in a distinctive Bessarabian palette. In either case they are supremely decorative rugs.
History Of Antique Flat Woven Bessarabian Kilim Rugs from Romania
Bessarabian Kilims and carpets are flat woven rugs that originate in the Russian provinces of the Ukraine and Moldova in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. While most carpet experts will classify the flat woven rugs as Bessarabian they will often refer to the knotted pile carpets as Ukrainian.
The Bessarabian carpets differ from antique Persian carpets in many ways. For example, unlike Persian carpets, Bessarabian rugs cannot be classified to a region according to the way the rugs were woven. Their weaves provide indications regarding the area for which they were created rather than for their classification. The markets these antique rugs were designed for could have fallen into different categories such as a rural market or an urban one. But all other attributes were dismissed and all the Romani made area rugs and carpets are referred to as Bessarabian instead.
Antique Romanian Bessarabian kilims are ornate and they come in a variety of designs as well color combinations. It’s not uncommon for some Bessarabian kilims to be more floral while others may feature more geometric patterns. Bessarabian carpets are made on carpet weaving looms similar to the ones used to make the French Aubusson rugs.
These looms are wooden, and the rugs are flat woven / kilims. The best of these rug types were created in the 1700’s. The Russian Imperial Tapestry Factory was where these Romanian rugs were made, and the factory was created by none other than Peter the Great. He established the Russian Imperial Tapestry Factory following his return from England and France. He was inspired to create the factory after being in awe of the splendid Aubusson carpets, Savonnerie rugs, and Axminster carpets he saw while abroad.
The beautiful carpets he admired while in Europe had already caught the eyes of his Russian contemporaries, and importing them was triggering a financial drain for the Russian treasury. For this reason, the Russian Imperial Tapestry Factory was used as a location for copying the French and English carpets Peter the Great and the Russian nobility desired.
Demand for these lavishly luxurious rugs grew, and additional factories were created in villages. This region is from where these rugs got the name Bessarabian. The region is divided between two territories: the Republic of Moldova and Romania. Bessarabian rug weavers were country people who had a country taste. Though they were tasked with replicating the elaborate motifs of the European rugs, they added their own unique country’s flair to their borrowed rug patterns and designs. This more folksy or traditional approach to the European patterns meant the rugs felt homely. For this reason, Bessarabian kilims are still desirable today.
In the 1700’s, the neoclassical style dominated in popularity in Europe, and it was praised by the court of Catherine the Great who ruled Russia longer than any other woman in Russian history.
Many of the Bessarabian kilims that were created in the factory had elements of neoclassicism. The carpet weaving workshops that woven these magnificent Romanian antique Bessarabian rugs and were established in the provinces knew of the popularity the neoclassical style had, but they instead chose to design their carpets informally like the country weavers in the factory had. The more informal Bessarabian kilims that were made in these provincial workshops blended both neoclassical and folk elements.
Decorative Bessarabian Floral Rugs from the Nazmiyal Collection to Ring in Spring!
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.
These days, bold and beautiful Bessarabian floral rugs, often with dark backgrounds of black or brown, make a gorgeous and colorful bold splash for any summer home. Take a look at how design consultant Stephan Hamel incorporates his Bessarabian floral rug for the ultimate wow-effect in his workroom in Tuscany. (Image © Paul Barbera courtesy of Vogue Living.)
Antique Bessarabian floral rugs occupy a unique place among European rugs. Produced during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they are supremely decorative pieces, and a lovely way to celebrate the coming of spring!
What are Bessarabian Kilim Rugs?
Bessarabian Kilim rugs, also known as Moldavian Kilims, are a type of flat-woven textile that originated in the historical region of Bessarabia, which spans parts of modern-day Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania. These Romanian area rugs are characterized by their unique designs, vibrant colors, and flat weaving technique.
Here are some key features and characteristics of Bessarabian Kilim Rugs:
- Geographical Origin: Bessarabia is a historical region in Eastern Europe, and the term “Bessarabian Kilim” specifically refers to kilims woven in this region. The area has a rich cultural heritage, and the rugs produced here often reflect the influence of various cultural and artistic traditions.
- Flat Weave Technique: Bessarabian Kilim rugs are woven using a flat-weave technique, which means they lack a pile. The absence of a pile gives them a flat and thin texture, making them suitable for use as floor coverings, wall hangings, or decorative pieces.
- Designs and Patterns: Bessarabian Kilims are known for their intricate designs and vibrant color schemes. They often feature geometric patterns, stylized floral motifs, and a combination of bold, contrasting colors. The designs may vary, but they typically exhibit a harmonious balance of elements.
- Cultural Influences: The designs on Bessarabian Kilim rugs may be influenced by the cultural and artistic traditions of the diverse ethnic groups that have historically inhabited the Bessarabian region. This can include influences from Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, and other local cultures.
- Usage: Bessarabian Kilim rugs serve both functional and decorative purposes. They can be used as floor coverings in homes, providing warmth and adding a touch of cultural elegance to interiors. Additionally, these kilims are often appreciated as collectible pieces of art.
- Materials: Traditional Bessarabian Kilims are typically woven from natural materials such as wool or a combination of wool and other fibers. The use of natural materials contributes to the durability and quality of the rugs.
- Cultural Heritage: Bessarabian Kilims are considered part of the cultural heritage of the region, and the weaving tradition has been passed down through generations. Artisans take pride in preserving and continuing the unique weaving techniques and designs that characterize these rugs.
Bessarabian Kilim Rugs are flat-woven textiles originating from the historical region of Bessarabia. They are known for their flat weave, intricate designs, vibrant colors, and cultural significance, reflecting the rich heritage of the region.
What makes the Bessarabian Kilim so special?
Bessarabian Kilims are considered special for several reasons, encompassing their unique characteristics, cultural significance, and artistic value.
Here are some factors that contribute to the specialness of Bessarabian Kilim rugs:
- Distinctive Designs: Bessarabian Kilims are known for their intricate and distinctive designs. The patterns often feature a combination of geometric shapes, stylized floral motifs, and vibrant colors. These unique designs contribute to the aesthetic appeal and recognition of Bessarabian Kilims.
- Cultural Heritage: The Bessarabian region has a rich cultural history influenced by various ethnic groups, including Romanians, Ukrainians, Russians, and others. Bessarabian Kilims often reflect this cultural diversity, incorporating elements from different traditions and providing a tangible link to the region’s historical and artistic heritage.
- Traditional Craftsmanship: Bessarabian Kilims are handmade using traditional flat-weaving techniques. Skilled artisans employ these methods to create rugs that are not only visually appealing but also showcase the craftsmanship and skills passed down through generations. The manual labor involved in their creation adds to their specialness.
- Vibrant Color Palette: The color palette of Bessarabian Kilims is another distinguishing feature. These rugs often use bold and contrasting colors, contributing to their vibrant and lively appearance. The color choices can be symbolic and influenced by the natural surroundings or cultural traditions.
- Versatility: Bessarabian Kilims are versatile in their use. They can be employed as functional floor coverings, decorative wall hangings, or even displayed as collectible pieces of art. This versatility enhances their appeal and makes them suitable for various settings.
- Materials and Durability: Traditional Bessarabian Kilims are crafted from natural materials, such as wool or a blend of wool and other fibers. The use of high-quality materials ensures the durability of the rugs, making them not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical for everyday use.
- Collectible Value: Bessarabian Kilims are often regarded as valuable collectibles. Their unique designs, cultural significance, and the artisanal craftsmanship involved in their creation make them sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts of textile art.
- Preservation of Tradition: The production of Bessarabian Kilims involves traditional weaving techniques that have been passed down through generations. The continuation of these techniques helps preserve the cultural and artistic heritage of the region, adding an extra layer of significance to these rugs.
The specialness of Bessarabian Kilim rugs lies in their distinctive designs, cultural richness, traditional craftsmanship, vibrant colors, versatility, durability, collectible value, and their role in preserving the cultural traditions of the Bessarabian