Northwest Persia, late nineteenth century
Rugs and carpets from the town of Bidjar in Northwest Iran are famed for the high quality of their tight, precise weave, along with their masterful blend of design and color, as well as the remarkable quality of their wool. Because of the extraordinarily wide range of their design repertory, Bidjars cannot be readily identified by their decorative patterns, but primarily by their weave, which is perhaps the densest and most durable of all Oriental rugs. Its tight structure with alternate vertical warps on upper and lower levels, the foundation of the rug and makes it lie absolutely flat on the floor without ever buckling or wrinkling. The field of this lovely example utilizes a Classical Persian mina khani or tellis design of floral bouquets and smaller blossoms staggered in rows and linked by fine vines. These are all set dramatically against a dark blue ground that serves primary to outline and emphasize the mina khani pattern. The soft red-ground border of vine sprays and blossoms offers a more finely scaled contrast to the field, while the ivory ground vinescroll minor borders add the perfect framing touch. This is classic Bidjar weaving at its best.