Antique Persian Bakhtiari Rugs
Antique Persian Bakhtiari rugs are woven in Zagros Mountains of Iran. Bakhtiari rugs and carpets are one of the few types and styles of antique rugs that encompasses nomadic tribal as well as urban antique Persian rug design. Many Bakhtiari rugs employ virtuoso central medallion designs presented in a virtual riot of colors. The best known BAKHTIARI rug design is the Garden carpet with flower- and tendril-filled compartmental designs (KHESHTI Design). Another important BAKHTIARI design consists of a decorated field with lattice designs and floral ornaments that are as distinctly executed as the well-drawn medallion carpets of Saman.
Until the 1930’s Bakhtiari rugs were characteristically woven for use by the tribe or on commission within Persia. Bakhtiari rugs are based on a cotton foundation (warp) with a wool weft usually taken from the herds of the producing tribe. This leads to unique bakhtiari rugs that differ depending on the characteristics of each tribe’s wool. The wool can range from dull to extreme glossy and the resultant pile is clipped medium to high. The best bakhtiari rug with the highest knot density are often known as Bibibaff. Prices range considerably with the highest knot density rugs generally being the most expensive, but criteria such as dyes and pattern factor in. Chapel Shotur and Saman pieces are rated slightly beneath Bibibaff productions, but are still considered to be excellent. Hori rugs are of inferior quality and as such, are generally widely affordable.
Bakhtiari rugs are considered among the most durable of Persian rugs.The sizes vary from narrow hall carpets to large room designs, often up to 4 x 5m. The larger rugs tend to be very rare and harder to come by. Similarly older rugs, often coveted by collectors, can be extremely costly.
Patterns are usually floral or garden inspired. The Khesti, an established garden motif is perhaps the most well-known rug design. Bakhtiari rug is divided into individual squares with animals and plants acting as symbols. Another influential design features a decorated field with lattice designs and floral ornaments. The pattern of Bakhtiari rugs is mainly geometric, sometimes semi-geometric, and seldom curvilinear. The designs tend to be very dense, and vibrant colors, such as deep reds, bright blues, navy, greens, brown and beige were commonly used. The most common Bakhtiari design is the garden design, which consists of square, rectangular, diamond, or hexagon compartments filled with flor`al motives
There is great variety of color in Bakhtiari rugs produced in the several hundred villages of this area. The principal colors include many shades of white and ivory, as well as various reds, browns, greens, and yellows, but relatively little blue. Natural dyes generally produce a harmonious range of color, especially on older pieces and in Bibibaff.