Kurdish kilim

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Condition Report

Very good condition.


Being sold on behalf of a collector in France.



Rug ID



This exceptional kilim is the work of Kurdish weavers from Northwest Persia. The Kurds of this region are renowned for their pile rugs and carpets, which traditionally utilize both soft lustrous wool and vibrant saturated vegetal dyes of the highest quality. Their kilims are less known, and older pieces such as this are far less common. Using a rich palette of autumnal reds and ochre, along with several blues and blue-green, this Kurdish kilim has a similar color sense as Kurdish pile weavings attributed to both the Sanjabi and Jaf Kurd groups. However, the design and drawing appear quite different from anything seen in Northwest Persian pile weaving. Across the indigo field, floral motifs are drawn in diagonal rows of alternating color. While flowering shrubs are certainly a popular theme throughout western Persia, the way that these motifs are drawn seems more reminiscent of the stylized carnations, or so-called “elibelinde,” depicted in central Anatolian kilims of the 17th-19th centuries. Intriguingly, this motif is thought to have evolved as a specifically Turkish folk reaction to Ottoman court design. If there is indeed a connection, several thought-provoking questions regarding the relationship between Persian and Turkish weaving may be postulated. The geometric devices seen in the border seem to reinforce the idea that, in terms of design, the weaver of this piece was using models specifically from the language of flat weaves. However, these later devices seem much more universal, perhaps because of the inherent structure of kilims and flatweaves.