Persian Bakhtiari Large Carpet – Oversize

Rug #5112
Size: 566 x 382 cm / 18.6 x 12.5 ft
Handwoven in: 

Persian Bakhtiari Large Carpet – Oversize

Persian Bakhtiari large carpet handwoven from wool in Iran. Items with these proportions are considered oversize with respect to dimensions of a standard room.

The name Bakhtiari can apply either to a place or a tribal group. Geographically, it refers to the province west of Esfahan called Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari (‘the four valleys and the Bakhtiari country’), one of the most beautiful and fertile areas of Iran, in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. In that latter half of the 19th century its main landlords were the khans of the Duraki family of the Haft Lang Bakhtiari, one of the two major moieties into which the Bakhtiari were divided (the other was the Chahar Lang). Wealthy through land and livestock, the khans began to build great, lavishly furnished palaces for themselves in the 1870s and 1880s; then in the early-20th century they were made immeasurably richer by the discovery of oil in their winter pasture lands in Khuzestan. They estab lished weaving workshops in many of their villages, which sub sequently became towns. Though initially the work shops probably wove carpets and rugs exclusively for the khans’ own use, their commercial potential soon became obvious and by the 1930s those in the leading centres of the Chahar Mahal – Shahr Kord, Shalamzar, Ghafarrukh, Chahal-i Shotor, Shamsabad, Farah Dombeh, Saman – as well as significant factories in some 70 other villages, turned this area into one of the most productive weaving districts in Iran. Structurally, Chahar Mahal carpets are all fairly similar: symmetrically knotted with cotton foundations; some examples have their cotton wefts dyed blue. A small group of distinctive rugs (from a Bakhtiari district outside the Chahar Mahal and slightly further west in Esfahan province) have blue cotton wefts and are asymmetrically knotted, usually with two or more medallions on the long axis. There is also a distinctive group of large carpets, often referred to as ‘khan carpets’, which have an inscription cartouche giving details of the particular khan who commissioned the carpet and sometimes added details such as the date of manufacture, the town where it was woven and even, on rare occasions, the name of the particular workshop or master weaver. There is also a distinctive group of ‘tribal’ (non-workshop) weavings. Until recently, many of the Bakhtiari – a moiety of the Lori people – led a seminomadic pastoral life, weaving similar artefacts to the other major tribal groups. Some of these were woven in Fars, where there are substantial groups of Lors and Bakhtiari both in the Chahar Mahal Valley itself and in the winter pastures in Khuzestan. One group of ghileems, associated with the town of Shushtar, are distinguished by being woven in the double-interlock tapestry technique; the slits normally found between each colour area have been ‘over-sewn’ with extra wefts to strengthen the fabric overall. There are also some very distinctive large khorjin (double saddle bags) woven in a mixed technique; the front panels are in sumac, the base of each bag both on front and back has a double end ‘T’ shaped panel of pile and the back of each bag is of striped plainweave in which is set a rectangular panel of white-ground sumac.


For further information please contact us and our team will be pleased to assist you. All pieces in the collection are under the auspices of Essie Sakhai, one of the world’s foremost experts and collectors of fine handmade Persian rugs and carpets.