Unique Rare Pictorial Kerman Ravar Rug

Rug #553
Size: 213 x 130 cm / 7 x 4.3 ft
Handwoven in: 

Ravar Kerman Fine Old. Very unique and rare Rug Pictorial Very Fine Wool Pile


A unique and rare Kerman Ravar pictorial rug, Southeast Persia, wool on cotton foundation

Early 20th century

The millefleurs field with an oval central reserve enclosing a pictorial bust depicting Alexandra, consort of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II, between columns and arch with two inscription medallions, flanked on either side by figures in ceremonial military regalia above a circular vignette enclosing vase and millefleurs, surmounted by a crown, supported above and below with three medallions displaying busts of related officials within a pictorial medallion border alternating with floral medallions, secondary millefleurs guard borders.

This remarkable Persian Kerman Ravar pictorial rug is a superb, rare example from the figural pictorial genre. The pictorial genre is not exclusive to Kerman, though the weavers there have paid a good deal of attention in creating many outstanding and significant figural rugs. The main portrait depicts the bust of Tzarina Alexandra Fyodorovna, consort of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II and associated historical figures, each with an identifying inscription and drawn in sufficient detail to identify the individual, no mean achievement artistically. The figures could be described as cartoon like in appearance, and such a style is consistent with this pictorial genre.


The composition is cleverly planned to maximise the visual impact, seen in the arrangement of the figures and colours used. It is generally accepted that Alexandra was a dominant, forceful character and came to dominate her husband in matters of state. As such it is perhaps not surprising that in this pictorial rug she is presented as the main significant figure with depictions of Emperor Nicholas II supporting the central figure. The top half figures are presented in entirely ivory or beige uniforms, and ivory faces with only dark outlining to define the physical features. The bottom half figures whilst maintaining the pale faces and dark outlining are clothed in deep blue and green uniforms; all are placed over wonderfully detailed consistent poly chrome millefleurs flowering vines and raceme background. This contrast between light and dark gives gravitas to each figure and fully enhances the overall artistic merit of the composition presenting a stately appearance; rightly justified given the significance of the royal figures depicted. The border displays a mix of portrait and floral medallions, and such arrangement is often seen in rugs of this genre.


This group of pictorial rugs are significantly important as they present specific subject matter related directly to the ‘revival’ period of Persian woven art, and over time their significance will be scrutinised by art historians. Technically finely made, and visually accomplished, this Kerman Ravar pictorial rug is a rare and significant work of Persian woven art.


Unique and Rare Persian Ravar Kerman Rug. This piece was handwoven in Iran. 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.