6 x 10.8 Antique Bakshaish Carpet, Herati Design, Heriz District, Northwest Persia, Circa 1890
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I am personally very partial to Bakshaish carpets and Helen and I both love antique carpets with sky blue or denim blue fields, so while I wish this carpet had a jazzier design than the Herati design, perhaps a Harshang format, I still think it is beautiful from both an artistic and decorative standpoint. It is also quite a bit less expensive than it would be with a jazzier design and the Herati design remains the most famous of all of the classical Safavid Dynasty (Circa 1501 – 1722) formats.
This Bakshaish carpet is also in unusually good condition, making it suitable for many foyers, the end of a large living room, etc..
The denim blue field is decorated with an all-over version of the Herati design, but in this example there is an interesting change from the standard form. Typically, the Herati design consists of a flowerhead within a diamond, with four stylized leaves or fish surrounding the diamond and small palmettes extending vertically. The diamonds are not included in this version, so the central flowerhead in the larger cluster of motifs floats between the four leaves and the palmettes extend vertically. It gives the carpet a different, perhaps less formal, character, in keeping with the general style of Bakshaish carpets which leans in the folk art direction with strong geometry. One of the most notable features of antique Bakshaish carpets is beautiful coloration, which is present in this carpet, with sky blue, coral, brick red, green, yellow and ivory highlights in the field. A brown border with leaves and flower heads frames the field.
Antique Bakshaish rugs and carpets are among the most prized weavings from the Heriz district in northwest Persia’s Azerbaijan Province.