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rug in my possession Kurdish village Bijar with diamond pattern, human figures, and herd

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Kurdish Bijar: diamonds, human figures and herd


A charming camel-ground village Bijar or nomadic Kurdish rug in Bijar weave. A grid composed of rows of diagonally offset diamonds enclosing eight-pointed stars which include, in turn, smaller diamonds. There is a large and spectacular flock or herd of animals (geese? sheep? goat?) along the left border, two human figures in skirts (does this make them women necessarily? I guess so.) A few animals have made it to the right side also. Please tell me of you have a clue or a good guess what the blocky s-shape with handles positioned between the two human figures might represent. I have never seen this device anywhere else.

Uneventful Kurdish-looking border system with three narrow borders, the outer two alike with repeated S-shapes with T-shaped pendants, the central one the most ordinary Kurdish rosette meander.


Kurdish, from the area around Bijar, North-West Persia. Around 1900, predating, or made outside of, commercial production.


The rug measures 6ft.2in. x 4ft.3in. (188 x 130 cm). Strongly depressed Bijar weave, all wool construction. Thin tan heavily twisted wool warps, two weft shots, one straight and very thick, grey-brown and hardly spun, one very thin, tan, sinuous. The knot density is h.33/dm, v.28/dm or, expressed in inches, ca. h.8, v.7 = 56 kpsi. An interesting feature is the lessening of compression and in turn, elongation of motifs progressively towards the top of the rug. Selvages one thick cord wrapped in tan wool, wrapping probably not original.


A muted palette of all natural dyes. Nicely abrashed camel-coloured wool, light brown, shades of middle to dark brown (outlining), and madder red dominate, with rarer use of a beautiful turquoise blue-green, a clear light yellow, a lighter madder-based shade of rose, off-white, and very small amounts of indigo blue.


Loss of outer narrow borders at both ends. Both ends secured. An older, palm-sized and somewhat faded reweave at the right side. The pile ranges from full and nice at the bottom to areas where it is down to the knots near the top. Condition problems with partly damaged foundation (abraision of thin sinuous wefts) especially towards the top end, a not unfrequent unfortunate weakness of the Bijar weave. This has been stopped and secured with stiching / braiding; a full repair would have been prohibitively expensive and would have required removal of too much substance. A hole has been roughly closed with braiding / stiching. From the discussions with Walter Brew, who worked on this rug, I understand that it is quite difficult and time-consuming to repair the foundation and reweave a dense and heavily depressed weave of this type. There are areas which remain delicate, certainly not a rug to be used in heavy traffic areas. I have put it on another similarly sized rug to protect the vulnerable foundation from further wear.

More images

Kurdish Bijar w herd and men - the herd 1

Kurdish Bijar w herd and men - the herd 2

Kurdish Bijar w herd and men - men 1

Kurdish Bijar w herd and men - men 2

Kurdish Bijar w herd - herd bottom

Kurdish Bijar w herd - herd detail

Kurdish Bijar w herd - repiling area

Kurdish Bijar w herd - topleft corner

Kurdish Bijar w herd - topright corner

Kurdish Bijar - top man detail

Kurdish Bijar - bottom detail + end

Kurdish Bijar w herd - wear detail 1

Kurdish Bijar w herd - wear detail 2

Kurdish Bijar w herd - wear detail 3

Kurdish Bijar w herd - wear detail 4

Kurdish Bijar w herd - wear detail 5

Last update: 12 February 2009 | Impressum—Imprint