AFSHAR

Afshars are handknotted Persian carpets made by the nomadic tribes of Afshar on ground looms utilizing wool or cotton warps and wool wefts with a single thread between the rows of knots.  The piles are made of wool and there are between 40 to 105 Turkish knots per square inch.  Afshars that are knotted in villages are created on vertical looms where both the warp and weft are in cotton, the knot is Persian, and the density is between 40 and 100 knots per square inch.  In common with most other nomadic groups, the Afshar make very few large items, and the most frequently encountered items are of dozar and zaromin size (8’ x 5’/6’ and 6’ x 4’).

The Afshar tribe originated in Azerbaijan, a region to the north of Iran inhabited by Turks.  During the reign of Shah Tahmasp (1524-1587) the Afshar tribe was driven south into the zone it now occupies in an attempt to diffuse their warlike tendencies, and a distinct Azerbaijan and Caucasian influence is still discernible in their design.  As centuries passed, the Afshar rugs also came under the influence of designs used by the craftsmen of Kerman and by the neighbouring Fars tribe, and for this reason the decoration of Afshars are varied.  The most common types of Afshar rugs are:

AFSHAR DEHAJ – The decoration of these carpets consists of large geometric boteh motifs.  These boteh cover the whole field of the rug.

AFSHAR MORGI – Morgi in Persian means chicken.  These Afshars are decorated by a repeating geometric motif resembling a chicken which covers the whole field of the carpet.  This is far and away the most original and interesting Afshar decoration.

DIAMOND AFSHAR – These Afshars are decorated with motifs taken from those used for Shirazs and Ghachgais.  Usually there are two diamonds, or, more rarely, one or three.  The whole field is tightly packed with small designs which often reveal the floral influence of nearby Kerman.

FLORAL AFSHAR – These specimens are woven in villages near Kerman and the designs are inspired by the carpets from that town.  The decoration is therefore floral, almost always in repeating motifs, rarely with a central medallion.

The most commonly found ground colours in Afshar carpets are ivory and bright red.  These two colours also occur in the designs along with light and dark blue, and yellow.  As is often the case in Persian carpets, the borders are limited in proportion to the whole carpet.  They are classic borders with a central band and two flanking guards.  The serrated-leaf border is quite common in Afshar Dehajs.  This demonstrates once again the northerly origin of the Afshar tribe.  The other motifs often include a decoration formed by a succession of diamond shapes in different sizes.

The price range of Afshar carpets are: LOW/MEDIUM

Afshars are generally considered among the finest examples of nomadic weaving emanating from the south-east region of Persia.  The diversity and inventiveness of their designs is legendary, and the finest Afshars possess an unparelleled primitive majesty.  Afshars are exceptionally good buys, and the better, more finely knotted examples can almost be guaranteed to become collectables in the future.  As with all oriental rugs, this is less true of poorer quality items, but nevertheless, all Afshars can be considered reasonably good investments.

AFSHAR

Afshars are handknotted Persian carpets made by the nomadic tribes of Afshar on ground looms utilizing wool or cotton warps and wool wefts with a single thread between the rows of knots.  The piles are made of wool and there are between 40 to 105 Turkish knots per square inch.  Afshars that are knotted in villages are created on vertical looms where both the warp and weft are in cotton, the knot is Persian, and the density is between 40 and 100 knots per square inch.  In common with most other nomadic groups, the Afshar make very few large items, and the most frequently encountered items are of dozar and zaromin size (8’ x 5’/6’ and 6’ x 4’).

The Afshar tribe originated in Azerbaijan, a region to the north of Iran inhabited by Turks.  During the reign of Shah Tahmasp (1524-1587) the Afshar tribe was driven south into the zone it now occupies in an attempt to diffuse their warlike tendencies, and a distinct Azerbaijan and Caucasian influence is still discernible in their design.  As centuries passed, the Afshar rugs also came under the influence of designs used by the craftsmen of Kerman and by the neighbouring Fars tribe, and for this reason the decoration of Afshars are varied.  The most common types of Afshar rugs are:

AFSHAR DEHAJ – The decoration of these carpets consists of large geometric boteh motifs.  These boteh cover the whole field of the rug.

AFSHAR MORGI – Morgi in Persian means chicken.  These Afshars are decorated by a repeating geometric motif resembling a chicken which covers the whole field of the carpet.  This is far and away the most original and interesting Afshar decoration.

DIAMOND AFSHAR – These Afshars are decorated with motifs taken from those used for Shirazs and Ghachgais.  Usually there are two diamonds, or, more rarely, one or three.  The whole field is tightly packed with small designs which often reveal the floral influence of nearby Kerman.

FLORAL AFSHAR – These specimens are woven in villages near Kerman and the designs are inspired by the carpets from that town.  The decoration is therefore floral, almost always in repeating motifs, rarely with a central medallion.

The most commonly found ground colours in Afshar carpets are ivory and bright red.  These two colours also occur in the designs along with light and dark blue, and yellow.  As is often the case in Persian carpets, the borders are limited in proportion to the whole carpet.  They are classic borders with a central band and two flanking guards.  The serrated-leaf border is quite common in Afshar Dehajs.  This demonstrates once again the northerly origin of the Afshar tribe.  The other motifs often include a decoration formed by a succession of diamond shapes in different sizes.

The price range of Afshar carpets are: LOW/MEDIUM

Afshars are generally considered among the finest examples of nomadic weaving emanating from the south-east region of Persia.  The diversity and inventiveness of their designs is legendary, and the finest Afshars possess an unparelleled primitive majesty.  Afshars are exceptionally good buys, and the better, more finely knotted examples can almost be guaranteed to become collectables in the future.  As with all oriental rugs, this is less true of poorer quality items, but nevertheless, all Afshars can be considered reasonably good investments.

AGRA

Agra, India has been a large center of carpet making since the period of Mughal art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The carpet industry was revived in Agra while under British rule during the nineteenth century. The Mughal tradition was reestablished, along with an interest in newly derived designs in current Persian rug production during the same period. Because of this, nineteenth and early twentieth century Agra carpets enjoyed a diverse and varied background that drew on all the great traditions of Oriental carpet making. Agra rugs are often beautiful all-over patterns, but also incorporate medallion or centralized patterns. The colors used in Agra rugs are often that of classical Indian and Persian carpets, sometimes getting into earthier tones.

 

Since the end of the nineteenth century carpets in India have often been primarily woven to order, due to this they are constructed to the highest quality. Although later rugs do derive patterns from traditional designs, modern Agra carpets have evolved to incorporate newer, more modern designs. Production all but disappeared after the 1920s but has made resurgence again in more recent times. Today, Agra carpets are considered to be some of the most decorative pieces internationally.

Agra rugs are not easy to classify as there is large variations in sizes, designs, and construction. Designs are often open fields with smaller center medallions and borders. They are also at times woven with all-over patterns. Colours used are often greens, blues, and beiges, but can also be reds and varying other colours. The piles are usually wool, with cotton making up the warp and weft. Over time the pile thickness of Agra carpets has gotten deeper, older Agras will have a thinner pile.

 

The price range and value of Agra carpets range from: Medium – Medium / High.

Image result for agra carpets

Image result for agra carpets

AGRA

Agra, India has been a large center of carpet making since the period of Mughal art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The carpet industry was revived in Agra while under British rule during the nineteenth century. The Mughal tradition was reestablished, along with an interest in newly derived designs in current Persian rug production during the same period. Because of this, nineteenth and early twentieth century Agra carpets enjoyed a diverse and varied background that drew on all the great traditions of Oriental carpet making. Agra rugs are often beautiful all-over patterns, but also incorporate medallion or centralized patterns. The colors used in Agra rugs are often that of classical Indian and Persian carpets, sometimes getting into earthier tones.

 

Since the end of the nineteenth century carpets in India have often been primarily woven to order, due to this they are constructed to the highest quality. Although later rugs do derive patterns from traditional designs, modern Agra carpets have evolved to incorporate newer, more modern designs. Production all but disappeared after the 1920s but has made resurgence again in more recent times. Today, Agra carpets are considered to be some of the most decorative pieces internationally.

Agra rugs are not easy to classify as there is large variations in sizes, designs, and construction. Designs are often open fields with smaller center medallions and borders. They are also at times woven with all-over patterns. Colours used are often greens, blues, and beiges, but can also be reds and varying other colours. The piles are usually wool, with cotton making up the warp and weft. Over time the pile thickness of Agra carpets has gotten deeper, older Agras will have a thinner pile.

 

The price range and value of Agra carpets range from: Medium – Medium / High.

Image result for agra carpets

Image result for agra carpets

Azeri

Azerbaijan has for centuries been known as a center for a large variety of crafts.  Archeological artifacts discovered in the territory of Azerbaijan shows a well developed agriculture, stock raising, metal working, and ceramics histories. One of the oldest traditions of the area is carpet-weaving dating as far back as to the 2nd millennium BC.

Carpet making began in rural huts and over time became among the most essential arts. The carpets knotted became highly valued by influential figures. The talented weavers were immortalized by poets and documenters of history.

Carpet weaving has always been closely connected with daily life in the area. Its role reflected in the meaning of the designs and their applications. Right down to, people seated on carpets in order to tell fortunes as well as used while singing the traditional songs of Novruz, which are the regional New Year’s celebrations. The carpet is widely used in the home for decoration. Special carpets are woven for medical treatments, as well as wedding ceremonies, birthing rituals, mourning loved ones and of course prayer.

The Azerbaijani carpet is traditionally  handmade of various sizes. Typically they have a dense pile, but sometimes are pile-less. The patterns are very characteristic of Azerbaijan’s carpet-making. Carpet weaving is a family tradition very often transferred through stories and shown by example. Sheep are sheared in Spring and Autumn, while the collected wool is dyed in Spring, Summer and Fall. Construction of carpets is done during the winter months by the female family members, younger girls learning from their mothers and grandmothers. Carpets are constructed on either horizontal or vertical looms. Wools of many colors are incorporated, as well as cotton and/or silk colored with natural dyes. Using unique techniques to create pile carpets, weavers knot the pile yarn around the threads of the warp and weft. While pile-less carpets are variously made by weaving around the structural warps and wefts. When a carpet is finished  it’s cutting off the loom is usually a solemn celebration.

The price range and value of Azeri carpets are: Medium to Medium High. Fine examples or Antiquities are always considered a sound investment.

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Bakhtiar

Bakhtiaris are usually hand knotted on a vertical loom, however, in the most isolated villages the nomad-type ground loom is still used.  Warp and weft are usually in cotton but sometime in wool.  The weft is composed of two threads and the knot is nearly always Turkish, but the Persian knot is used for carpets made in the village of Shahr Kord.  Each individual village or nomadic tribe has its own variation on the traditional schemes, and the quality of the wool, the type of knot used and the fineness of the knotting vary from village to village.  However, all the carpets are reasonably sturdy and the wool pile is generally of medium depth and the density is from 80 to 200 knots per square inch.   Normally, all carpets are marked as Bakhtiaris, but sometimes they may be named after the specific village – Feridan, Farah Dumbah, Boldaji, Saman, Bain, etc. – and occasionally the more finely knotted items are referred to as Bibibaffs, which literally means ‘woman’s knot’.

Bakhtiaris are easily identifiable because of their special designs.  The field on the carpet is almost always divided into squares or diamonds made to stand out by a plain outline.  These geometric figures are decorated either with animal or plant motifs, particularly cypresses and flowering shrubs.  Each carpet may contain more than ten different designs.  Another fairly common decoration is a formal repeated design of flowers and shrubs, which covers the whole field.  Often these specimens contain a ‘tree of life’ in the central part of the field.

Some Bakhtiaris are made by craftsmen in the village of Shahr Kord.  These Bakhtiari tribesmen have given up their nomadic life and therefore their carpets reveal the influence of nearby Isfahan in the techniques employed, the use of the Persian knot and the floral design with a central medallion.  The execution of this design is, however, more formal and betrays the nomadic origin of the craftsmen.

The border is typical of many Persian carpets from different regions: two narrow guards and a wide central band.  The decorative motifs are very varied.  The herati border motif is usually used for carpets woven in Shahr Kord.  In the nomadic carpets, particularly the older and antique ones, the border is often decorated with a serrated-leaf pattern.  Another fairly common border is one where the decoration is a succession of cartouches in which the principal motifs of the ground decoration appear on a white background.  All Bakhtiaris are in dark colours, deep red, yellow ochre, bottle green, dark brown and bright blue.

The price range of Bakhtiar carpets are from: MEDIUM TO MEDIUM/HIGH

Bakhtiaris can be exceptionally attractive, and are amongst the most collectable examples of contemporary Persian tribal weaving; consequently, their investment potential is sound.

Balutch War Rug

The art of Oriental rug weaving was spread throughout the Persian empire to Pakistan, India, and further regions abroad. The new generations of oriental carpet weavers have learned the ancient Persian patterns, and integrating personal, political, and cultural symbols into their design methodologies. Some famous war rugs were inscribed and donated to the Armenian Library and Museum in Watertown, Massachusetts. These carpets show how the Armenians tried to preserve their cultural identity during a time of immense strife. Christian Armenians from the Ottoman Empire, who lived in a Muslim-dominated culture prior to the First World War, these people endured the Armenian massacre of 1915-1918, wove these War rugs. These carpets depict numerous Christian symbols in an attempt to establish a unique Christian identity of the peoples who had lost their homeland.

Today, war continues to play a large motive in rug design with rugs from Afghanistan, known as “War Rugs,” these carpets are made by the Belouchi’s who are a nomadic tribe of Afghanistan, Iran and southern China. Weavers of Balutch War Rugs depict stylized army tanks, airplanes, and various pieces of artillery equipment. Weavers use the same geometric pattern approach once reserved for the depiction of barnyard animals and flowers in Oriental carpets.

Image result for balutch war rug

Image result for balutch war rug

Iron Rugs of Persia

Bidjars are hand knotted on a vertical loom using a cotton warp or, more rarely, wool.  Thin wool threads and thick cotton ones form the weft; usually as many as five threads, four loose wool ones and a taunt cotton on in the center.  This is the chief characteristic of Bidjars.  The warp threads are beaten in with two kinds of tools – the usual comb beater, and a special one, which resembles an enormous iron claw.  The craftsmen insert the claw between the warp threads and beat in the weft threads many times over.  This special technique makes Bidjars the most compact and heavy of the Persian carpets, giving it the title of ‘iron rugs of Persia. The close-cut pile is of high quality, lustrous wool knotted together using a Turkish knot with densities of between 100 to 210 knots per square inch.

Bidjars, like Saroughs, are often decorated with floral motifs in a formal interpretation, which betrays their primitive and semi-nomadic style.  The result is a less sophisticated version of the classic Persian specimens such as Kashans, but decidedly more restrained and attractive.  There is often a medallion in the center, while the rest of the field is decorated either with floral designs or with the herati motif reproduced in a small size and repeated to cover the whole background.  Other examples have only a central medallion standing out against a self-coloured field.  In these Bidjars the four quarters have a floral ornamentation.  Bidjar borders are often composed of five bands, four narrow and one central wide one.  The main band is often decorated with border boteh, while the guards contain a succession of rosettes alternating with stylized floral motifs.  Another common border is made up of two very narrow guards and a central one, which, although wider than the guards, is small in relation to the carpet.  In this type of border, a rich floral decoration is often added to the border herati.

Bidjars are identifiable not only by their unusual technique but also by their very beautiful colours.  The ground shades are dark: dark blue, cherry red, and bottle green are common, while the colours used for the designs are very vivid and often include a delightful turquoise.

Goltog is near Zanjan in North West Persia Kurds make these Goltog rugs (also: “Gholtog”)which resemble Bidjar rugs in their quality. The solid grip is just like with a Bidjar and is caused by the remarkably dense foundation of these rugs. Goltogs are mostly made in darker colors where there is almost always a Hexagon as the dominant element in the field. Altogether the Goltog meets very high demands in quality and tasteful design and definitely competes with the Bidjar rug.

Bidjar / Goltog carpets range from the price range and value of: MEDIUM TO HIGH.

Bidjars and Goltogs represent excellent value and are one of the safer investments.  Bidjars are proverbially sturdy and beautifully coloured, and because production has been limited for more than twenty years, they are very rare.

Chinese Rugs

Chinese carpets were initially woven many centuries ago by nomadic tribes in the Sinkiang and Ninghsia regions of western China. They were used for both decorative and functional purposes. In the early to mid-19th century, the craft began to flourish on a much larger scale. Very influential in developing the art were Ch’ien Lung, Chia Ch’ing, and Tao Kuang, three rulers of the Ch’ing Dynasty (1644-1912).

During the mid-to-late 19th century, almost all of China’s carpet production was used locally, most being sold to the local upper classes. During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 Western awareness of Chinese carpets increased substantially when many palaces and houses were looted and the carpets were sent all over the world.

Chinese carpets first official recognition was at the 1903 Saint Louis International Exhibition. Here an entry was awarded first prize. With Western interest now piqued, huge efforts were made to transform the small amount of artisans into the major industry Chinese carpet making has become. In the 1920s, Peking- and Tiensin-style rugs were being made to American importers’ specifications and became very popular in the United States.

Today hand knotted carpets produced in China are often based on traditional Persian designs. The typically have 160 or 200 lines (or rows) of knots per linear foot. They can most likely be identified by an appearance that is very precise. Differing from the Art Deco rugs and carved rugs, which almost always have a thick and relatively long pile, the pile of Chinese or Sino Persians is in most cases low. The designs are typically finely rendered. Silk, if used, would be found around design fixtures like flowers and leaves to give definition to the pattern, and depth to the overall piece. Intricate, and delicate Chinese silk rugs may have upwards to 230 or 300 lines and are considered some of the finest rugs ever made.

The price range and value of Chinese Sino carpets range from:

Medium to High, depending on craftsmanship and materials used.

Image result for chinese sino carpetImage result for chinese sino carpet

Chobi Kilim Carpets

These are beautiful richly textured kelims all handcrafted from Gazni wool and are vegetable dyed kelims. Afghan kelims are renowned worldwide for being hard wearing flat woven rugs, with colours unique to the region. Afghan Chobi kelims are made using beautiful soft vegetable dyes made from apricots, mulberries, onion skins, olives, turmeric, madder root, indigo etc and are made using locally produced hand spun wool. Afghan Chobi kelims come from the Afghanistan/Uzbekistan border region. Exquisite pieces from our families there, a true village craft.

Kelims are produced by tightly interweaving the warp and weft strands of the weave to produce a flat surface with no pile. Most kelim weaves are “weft-facing the horizontal weft strands are pulled tightly downward so that they hide the vertical warp strands.
When the end of a color boundary is reached, the weft yarn is wound back from the boundary point. Thus, if the boundary of a field is a straight vertical line, a vertical slit forms between the two different color areas where they meet. For this reason, most kelims can be classed as “slit woven” textiles. The slits are beloved by collectors, as they produce very sharp-etched designs, emphasizing the geometry of the weave. Weaving strategies for avoiding slit formation, such as interlocking, produce a more blurred design image.
The weft strands, which carry the visible design and color, are almost always wool, whereas the hidden warp strands can be either wool or cotton. The warp strands are only visible at the ends, where they emerge as the fringe. This fringe is usually tied in bunches, to ensure against loosening or unraveling of the weave.

The price range and value of Kelims are very inexpensive, they are hard wearing, utility pieces. Prices are low to medium depending on the craftsmanship.

Image result for chobi kilim carpetsImage result for chobi kilim carpets