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The Antique Nomad Carpet of Persia

History Of The Antique Nomad Carpet From Persia

A certain mystery and romance attaches to the concept of Oriental rugs, but perhaps the most romanticized objects of this kind are the so-called antique nomad carpet from Persia. What distinguishes antique nomadic carpets of this type is, first of all, the social and economic basis behind them.

The Antique Persian Nomad Carpet - By Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC

The Antique Persian Nomad Carpet

The nomadic rugs were produced by Persian people whose identity was organized around various tribes and clans. Their economy was depended on domesticated livestock, especially sheep and goats. Their style of life was that of a nomadic, tent-dwelling population that periodically had to move in search of grazing for its flocks, as opposed to a sedentary population based on agriculture.

Antique Geometric Animal Design Persian Afshar Rug Nomad Carpet Nazmiyal

Antique Geometric Animal Design Persian Afshar Rug

In Persia, the most well-known nomadic weavers are above all the Turkmen and Baluch tribes of the Northeast, the Khamseh, Afshar, and Bakhtiari, of the Southwest, and the Shahsavan of the Northwest Persia.

Tribal Garden Design Antique Persian Bakhtiari Rug Nomad Carpet Nazmiyal

Tribal Garden Design Antique Persian Bakhtiari Rug

In terms of Persian rug design, however, there is no single, unifying feature that one may define as nomadic. This does not include, of course, a taste for abstract geometric forms or highly geometric animal and floral rug motifs, a taste that is also typical of village weaving.

Antique Persian Baluch tribe Rug Nomad Carpet Nazmiyal

Antique Persian Baluch Tribe Rug

The tribal nomadic Persian rug design repertory has often been claimed to be incredibly ancient, involving motifs that stem from the timeless tribal culture of its weavers. But like those of village weaving, the designs of nomadic rugs originated as highly abstracted versions of city rug designs of floral, animal, or geometric medallion type. They represent the creative artistic side of the normal economic relations existing between nomadic peoples and their sedentary village and urban neighbors. At times nomadic rugs, especially those of Turkmen, also adapted the much finer technique of urban Persian weaving, in contrast to the coarser weave found in most nomadic work.

Tribal Persian Rugs With Geometric Animal Rug Designs by Nazmiyal

Tribal Geometric Animal Rug Designs

The truly distinctive aspects of nomadic weaving are primarily technical. As the products of tent-dwelling peoples they tend to be woven on horizontal rug looms set up on the ground rather than on vertical looms set up in houses. And as the products of nomadic sheep-herding peoples, they also tend to be made entirely of wool, including the foundation of the rug.

Antique Geometric Medallion Design Rug Nomad Carpet Nazmiyal

Antique Geometric Medallion Design Persian Heriz Serapi Rug

This contrasts notably with city vs. village rug production, which utilizes spun cotton, a sedentary agricultural product, for the rug foundation since cotton enables a more consistent tension allowing for straighter, more perfectly rectangular weaving. The format of antique nomadic rugs is also distinctive. They are not simply floor coverings, or at time cushions, of variable size like urban and village rugs. Instead they are also woven as storage bags, both large and small, hung on the tent walls or used on pack animals, effectively serving as nomadic equivalents of closets, cupboards, and chests or boxes.

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Here are some more tribal and antique Persian nomadic carpets from our collection:

Tribal Antique Persian Qashqai Rug Nazmiyal

Tribal Antique Persian Qashqai Rug

Antique Persian Kilim Nazmiyal

Antique Persian Kilim

Small Antique Persian Bidjar Rug Namziyal

Small Antique Persian Bidjar Rug

Vintage Persian Ghashgai Rug Nazmiyal

Vintage Persian Ghashgai Rug

Small Scatter Size Tribal Antique Persian Kurdish Rug Nazmiyal

Small Scatter Size Tribal Antique Persian Kurdish Rug

Antique Tribal Prayer Persian Gabbeh Rug Nazmiyal

Antique Tribal Prayer Persian Gabbeh Rug

Tribal Antique Persian Afshar Rug Nazmiyal

Tribal Antique Persian Afshar Rug

Diamond Design Vintage Tribal Persian Shabby Chic Gabbeh Rug Nazmiyal

Diamond Design Vintage Tribal Persian Shabby Chic Gabbeh Rug

Antique Persian Tribal Bakhtiari Saddlebag Nazmiyal

Antique Persian Tribal Bakhtiari Saddlebag

Antique Tribal Afshar Persian Rug Nazmiyal

Antique Tribal Afshar Persian Rug

Vintage Tribal Shabby Chic Persian Gabbeh Rug Nazmiyal

Vintage Tribal Shabby Chic Persian Gabbeh Rug

This rug blog about the Persian nomad carpet was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rug Gallery in NYC.

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