Afshar rug

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The Afshar of southeast Persia are a tribal people traditionally speaking a Turkic language. Despite their tribal origins, the ornamental repertoire of many Afshar pile weavings is remarkably urbane. This Afshar rug draws diagonal rows of floral arrangements against a blue ground. Undoubtedly, these floral forms are a local interpretation of rose bunches adapted by weavers across Persia in the 19th century from French tapestries. This drawing of roses is known in Persian as ‘gol-i farang’ or ‘Westerners’ roses’. In comparison to their naturalistic rendering in the nearby urban workshops of 19th century Kerman, the Afshar variant used here is far more abstracted and less specifically rose than floral. The border of this piece draws a rustic rendering of a classic Persian linked palmette type.