Bakshaish rugs and carpets

Bakshaish rugs and carpets are a type of tapestry found in North-West of Iran. Bakshaish, Heris County is a town on the banks of the Aji Chay in the Heris region of Northwest Iran. Situated in the mountainous region 60 miles east of the large city of Tabriz, Bakshaish is the oldest rug weaving village in the district of Heris, noted for carpets with diverse abstract adaptations of age-old tribal and classical Persian motifs.7

Bakshaish Carpets and Rugs

Bakshaish rugs adapt the style and sensibility of the most valued smaller tribal carpets from Northern Iran.1 Bakshaish rugs are considered among the finest examples of larger rugs from the region. 2 Taking their inspiration from Persian classical carpets, the abstract patterns of Bakshaish rugs and carpets feature bold, geometric designs. 3 Most popularly Bakshaish rugs utilize curvilinear medallion designs, transforming classical cartoons into more abstract and energetic drawings similar to Caucasian tribal rugs. 4 In the late 19th century the designs produced in Bakshaish carpets were akin to those of the Arak weavers.5 Often, following form of village pieces, Bakshaish carpets apply scattered graphics filling the woven field. Alternatively they use empty space to allow graphics to stand out. 6

Bakshaish Rugs in the Modern Market

Recently Bakshaish rugs and carpets have received much attention from scholars and connoisseurial experts alike. Scholars such as Dr. Jon Thompson have sought to decipher the origins of Bakshaish carpets, without concrete conclusion. In spite of enlarging designs and altering production methods, the Bakshaish weavers were able to maintain their distinctive, primary aesthetic. The Bakshaish carpets are the only examples that maintain the vibrant hand of the tribal weaver, while being large enough to be of room size; it is for this reason that they are so highly prized by the current market of collectors.7


    • Eiland, Murray L. Oriental Rugs.Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976. ISBN 978-0-8212-0643-0
    • Neff, Ivan C. and Carol V. Maggs. Dictionary of Oriental Rugs. London: AD. Donker LTD, 1977. ISBN 978-0-949937-35-3
    • Winitz, Jan. The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug. California: Publishers Group West, 1985. ISBN 978-0930021009

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