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See very large image of Bakhtiari Rozveh village rug with medallions [2.6MB].
Based on the weave I thought this was a cute little Malayer or Hamadan rug and described it thus. Then, Manouchehr Haghighat contacted me and pointed out:
"This rug must be from Bakhtiar Fron Village Roozbeh, I think, there is no such a design in Malayer. Or it can be from Boorburut from Boravi regions. Both are Armenian."
And indeed, in Peter Willborg's Bakhtiari book (on which Manouchehr Haghighat has co-operated - he is listed in the acknowledgement section), we find a very close match, a larger rug (157-65 x 291 cm) on page 100 (fig. 29). Willborg calls the design 'allover lattice containing polygons'.
This rug is much smaller and of an unusual squarish size, with geometric medallions arranged in a diagonal repeat pattern. Medallions / guls are set in a thin diagonal lattice sprouting little buds and leaves, and linked vertically by stronger stems. The inward-bending hooks at the top and bottom of the medallions seem a distant echo of the Holbein carpet pattern with its knotted strapwork running around the guls. Here, its side hooks are atrophied and the central star or blossom shape replaced by the simple diamond-shaped stepped grid elements, the top and bottom rectangele having pointed tips.
The rug measures 4ft.8in. x 3ft.5in. (145 x 103-7 cm). Thick ivory strongly twisted cotton warps, single wefts of thin wool mostly in various shades of grey mixed with occasional bands of thicker cotton wefts. The weave is very tight, strongly compacted. The horizontal knot count is h.28/10, the vertical knot count is v.36/10, which means roughly 1008 knots/dm2 (or, converted to to inches, approx. h.7,v.8 = approx. 56 kpsi).The handle is leathery, dense but still flexible.
Good condition. The pile is quite short, nearly down to knot heads in the centre and slightly longer around it, of excellent silky wool. No repairs or repilings that I could spot. The narrow outer guard border is missing at both ends. The rug is clean and well secured.
A pleasing palette with mostly natural dyes. The sudden change from the dark blackish blue ground colour to the central band of abrashed lighter shades of blue is quite dramatic, seems to let the medallions take off. The dark red and possibly the gold-green shade may be synthetic. All dyes seem very stable, I can't see any tip fading or bleeding.