The antique Bidjar carpets of Northwest Persia are famed for their meticulous, exacting technique, their rich color, and the beauty of their designs, which often replicate the patterns of classical Persian court carpets. So it is with the flatwoven kilims produced by Bidjar weavers. Unlike the great majority of kilims produced across the Middle East, which rely on the rectilinear geometric designs from tribal or village rug weaving, Bidjar kilim weavers were able to reproduce the suave curvilinear graphics and arabesque finesse of classical carpets, as this exceptional example so clearly demonstrates. The beautifully variegated or ‘abrashed’ red field is remarkably unencumbered, relying only on a grand central lobed deep blue medallion with radially symmetrical interior floral detail. The medallion sprouts two equally grand arabesque finials in light blue with interior detail in mauves and red. Monumental cornerpieces echo the design and coloration of the central medallion, in true classical spirit. In the main border a sinuous curving vinescroll in mauve and red undulates across a soft yellow ground, framed by minor geometric borders in soft blue. One last band of plain red encloses the whole composition, echoing the field. The only concession to the slit tapestry technique is in the delicately stepped profile of the various outlines, whose resolution is so fine that it can only be seen from close up. While lacking the thickness of knotted pile Bidjar carpets, this kilim offers instead a delicate ribbed, textured surface that sets off the luster of the hand-spun wool and saturated color derived from natural vegetable dyes.