Guide to Bakhtiari Rugs & Carpets

History / Background

The majority of Tribal Confederations in Iran come out of the Turkmen Seljuk migrations. Then with the end of the Turkmen Dynasty the Safavid broke up the old Oghuz tribal confederations and reassembled them as Kizilbash confederations. The last Kizilbash Confederation under the Safavid Dynasty was the Durrani Pashtun. Trusting the Pashtun was disastrous, resulting in the destruction of Safavid rule in Persia.

Nadir Shah defeated the Hotaki Durrani and he did it with the help of the Deraki Bakhtiari. To reward the Deraki Nadir Shah gave them an elevated status basically Kizilbash Status.
The last major confederation was in 1861 - 62 when the Persian Shah Naser ed-Din (Khajar) created the Khamseh Tribal Confederation. The Bakhtiari are a tribal confederation of primarily Luri speaking people in Southwest Iran.

The Deraki tribe increased their overall control of the Bakhtiari confederation in the late 19th century and held control up through the middle of the 20th century. Unlike the Kashqai where the Khan and the Il-Khan were loved and respected the Bakhtiari Deraki Khans were hated and feared. 

Rugs & Carpets

The Bakhtiari weaving area `begins South of Borugerd east and south of the Zagros Mountains, and west of the Isfahan plain.

Symmetrical Knots Single or Doubled Wefted

Bakhtiari rugs and carpets have symmetrical knots may be single or doubled wefted. The single wefted rugs are similar to Hamadan rugs so from structure we turn to borders and color to make an attribution. One clue is that Bakhtiari rugs generally seem to have larger wefting. I recall one Bakhtiari that had 9 cotton singles in one shot.

Peter Stone suggests in his Lexicon that cotton foundation and single wefts are village rugs and that double wefted and are "tribal". I am not sure where that puts double wefted cotton foundation rugs but Pete Stone is one of the great experts on structure so his comments are worth considering.

Examples:

Semi-Antique Chahar Mahal/Bakhtiari
Semi-Antique Chahar Mahal/Bakhtiari
Chahar Mahal, Persia Semi-Antique, early 20th century. 4 foot 1 inch by 6 foot 9 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 7 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 63 per square inch (976 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool or white Cotton.

Weft: Cotton 1 shot. rigid red.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: Reduced, warp fringe.

Selvages: Overcast with brown wool, not original.

closeup

This Rug has the three most important factors in it's favor: Color, Color, and Color!

As can be seen in this scan the pile is low but in good condition for it's age. The range of green is outstanding. There is a blue green, a light green and an outstanding dark green which is hard to pick out in this scan.

The color in this reminds me of a palace size Bakhtiari carpet that my grandfather collected back before W.W.II. The carpet was at least 22 feet long as was dated first quarter 19th century and was inscribed "As a gift to our ruler". That rug dated to the vary earliest of the Bakhtiari Chahar Mahals and it had the same range of color. The range of really good greens seems to be common in really good older rugs and carpets from the Chahar Mahal.

Further Notes: The color is outstanding, dyes look very good. Condition is average showing some signs of wears The rug is reduced on the edges.


Bakhtiari Chahal Shotur Carpet
Bakhtiari Chahal Shotur Carpet

Chahal Shotur is an area in the Chahar Mahal known for excellent quality carpets primarily in compartment designs.

Size: 6 foot 10 inch by 9 foot 11 inch.

Of Bakhtiar rugs and carpets Chahal Shotur carpets are considered the best. Of the Chahal Shotur this type attributed to the village of Bain are considered the best. This is an outstanding example with really nice color and outstanding wool.

closeup

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left.  9 knots per horizontal inch and 12 knots per vertical inch. 108 per square inch (1674 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply corded white cotton.

Weft: 2 shots blue cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends:  Post-hitch wharf binding with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 1 cord overcastting red wool.

Handle: Heavy, durable, thick, soft.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Bakhtiari Rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal circa 1930
 Bakhtiari Rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal C. 1930

west central Persia about 1930,

Slight wear, outer guard stripes missing at base.

Bakhtiari Carpet, circa 1910
Bakhtiari Carpet circa 1910

MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 20ft. 10in. by 16ft. 6in. (6.35 by 5.03m.)

DESCRIPTION

Circa 1910 minor partial end guard stripes, minor color run, rewoven areas,

Notes: Cyprus Tree borders.


Bakhtiari carpet, possibly 18th century
Bakhtiari carpet, possibly 18th century

Bakhtiari carpet, west central Persia, late 19th century,

10ft.11in. x 5ft.7in. 3.33m. x 1.70m.

Very slight wear in places. Bakhtiari rugs with this distinctive pale blue cotton wefting seem to form a specific group, some examples being possibly 18th century.


Bakhtiari Rose Medallion Rug
Bakhtiari Rose Medallion Rug
Bakhtiari Rose Medallion Rug

Semi-Antique Bakhtiari Rose Medallion Rug

Wonderful Color, Unusual Design.

This rug is a Bakhtiari rose medallion rug.

Bahktiarri, Persia Semi-Antique, early 20th century. 6 foot 5 inch by 4 foot 6 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 6 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 48 per square inch (744 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: White Cotton.

Weft: Cotton 10 singles in one shot. blue.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: Reduced, warp fringe.

Selvages: Overcast with red wool.

Further Notes: The color is very good, dyes look very good. There is some use of natural gray wool and some use of acid orange. Condition is average to poor in some places showing some signs of wear. The rug is reduced on the ends and the bottom has been taped with an adhesive backed cloth tape. The tape and adhesive should be removed and restabilized and the top should be stabilized as well.


Bakhtiari Rug, Shahr Kord, Chahar 1930
Bakhtiari Rug, Shahr Kord, Chahar 1930

Bakhtiari rug,

Shahr Kord, Chahar Mahal,

South west Persia, about 1930,

6ft.10in. x 5ft.3in.


Bakhtiari Rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal 1921
Bakhtiari Rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal 1921

Bakhtiari rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal,

West central Persia dated 1340AH (1921-22CE),

6ft.3in. x 4ft.2in. 1.91m. x 1.27m.

Chemically 'washed'.


Bakhtiari Rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal 1930-50
Bakhtiari Rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal 1930-50

Bakhtiari rug, Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal Valley,

South west Persia,

About 1930-50,

6ft.9in. x 4ft.7in. 2.05m. x 1.40m.

Notes: Birds with Cyprus Trees.


Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet
Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet

Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet

Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet

Size: 6 foot 4 inch by 10 foot 4 inch.

This is an attractive older Bakhtiari carpet. This rug is a 20 to 40 year old Shahr Kurd Carpet. These used to be called Deh Kurd. Among Shahr Kurd carpets this is a very robust better than average grade rug. The color is has mellowed with age and the wool excellent. This is a very thick Bakhtiari.

Bakhtiari Carpet, Chahar Mahal Region, Iran, Mid-20th century.

Size: 6 foot 4 inch by 10 foot 4 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot.  7 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (868 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 1 ply white cotton.

Weft: 2 shots blue cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Post-hitch wharf binding with 1 inch warp fringe (top);   2 inch plain weave finish (bottom) .

Selvages: 1 cord overcastting red wool.

Handle: Medium, pliable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Bakhtiari Village Rug
Bakhtiari Village Rug

Bakhtiari Village Rug

Bakhtiari Carpet

6 feet 2 inches by 4 foot 3 inches.

This rug is a Bakhtiari village carpet. I am not familiar with this medallion flanked by blossoms but it seems to work.

Bakhtiari Rug, Chahar Mahal, Iran 20th century. 6 feet 2 inches by 4 foot 3 inches. (Not including fringe)

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (869 per square decimeter) Not depressed.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: White Cotton.

Weft: Cotton 1 shot. gray.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1/2 inch plain weave skirt with warp fringe.

Selvages: Overcast with black wool.

Further Notes: As new, no visible faults. Wool is very glossy,

The color in this Bakhtiari carpet is unusually subdued. There is a much mellower color palette than one usually expects. This is one of the single wefted Bakhtiari carpets.


Older Bakhtiari Panel Carpet
Older Bakhtiari Panel Carpet

Older Bakhtiari Panel Carpet

Older Shahr Kurd Panel Carpet

Size: 6 foot 8 inch by 10 foot 2 inch.

This is an attractive older Shahr Kurd Bakhtiari panel carpet. Shahr Kurd Carpets used to be called Deh Kurd. Among Shahr Kurd carpets this is a very robust better than average grade rug. The color is very good and so is the wool.

Shahr Kurd Panel Carpet, Chahar Mahal Region, Iran, Mid-20th century.

Size: 6 foot 8 inch by 10 foot 2 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 7 knots per horizontal inch and 6 knots per vertical inch. 42 per square inch (651 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply corded white, red, blue cotton.

Weft: 2 shots blue cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Post-hitch wharf binding with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: Single cord overcasting red, gray, tan wool.

Handle: Heavy, durable, dense.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Shahr Kurd Bakhtiari Panel Carpet
Shahr Kurd Bakhtiari Panel Carpet

Bahktiari Rugs: Shahr Kurd Bakhtiari Panel Carpet

Bakhtiari Panel Carpet are really similar rugs from a region. They never really were woven in great numbers by Bakhtiari tribes people but rather they were woven in areas controlled by the Bakhtiari. Without making this an Iranian history lesson the British armed the Bakhtiari and used them as a mercenary army to lend support to the British Oil interests. Consequently they were in effect a country within a country and these rugs are from the region they controlled.

This rug is a Persian Kurd from the Chahar Mahal. Good color, good dyes. This is a well-made village rug. It is not the finest or most valuable of the Bahktiari Panel Carpet but is is a good solid village rug that will give years of service.

20 year old (like new, unused) Kurdish Rug, Shahr Kurd Iran, 20th century. 9 foot 6 inch by 6 foot 6 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 6 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 42 per square inch (651 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: Cotton, white.

Weft: Cotton 1 shot. blue, one very thick and the other sinuous.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cotton overcast with red wool.

Further Notes: Very stiff meaty handle, very substantial rug in As new condition. Long pile.


Shooshtar (Shoshtar) Kelim
Shooshtar (Shoshtar) Kelim

This piece is kind of kilim (220 cm x142 cm). Made by camel wool (% 100 wool), with natural color (no chemical). Very rare (even in Iran), very old (about 100 years old), in very good condition (No repair). In the middle part you could find a cross (combinatory of calvary cross and swastika cross). Made by hand in Shooshtar (Shoshtar) city that located in S-W of Iran and saint Daniel`s birthplace with more than 3000 years civilization.


Bahram Gour Dans La Palais Bleau. Herat, 1493
Bahram Gour Dans La Palais Bleau. Herat, 1493

Bahram Gour Dans La Palais Bleau. Herat, 1493

"Bahram Gour Dans La Palais Bleau" from the school of Bihzad, Herat, 1493 in a manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami dated 1492, Poliakova, E. A. and Rakhimova, Z. I. L'Art de la Miniature et la Litterature de L'Orients. Plate 47 and notes page 269.


Bakhtiari Shahr Kord, carpet 1920-30
Bakhtiari Shahr Kord, carpet 1920-30

Bakhtiari carpet, west central Persia, Chahar Mahal Valley, town of Shahr Kord,

About 1920-30, 10ft.5in. x 8ft.10in. 3.17m. x 2.69m.

Very slight even wear.


Bakhtiari long rug, circa 1900
Bakhtiari long rug, circa 1900

Bakhtiari long rug,

West central Persia, Chahar Mahal valley,

Bakhtiari, about 1900,

8ft.9in. x 3ft.3in. 2.67m. x 1m.

Overall even wear, slight loss top end, loss and damage bottom end. An unusual and probably quite early Bakhtiari rug although the cotton foundations argue for a village rather than nomadic origin.


Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari carpet, circa 1930-40
Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari carpet circa 1930-40

Bakhtiari carpet,

Shalamzar, Chahar Mahal Valley, west Persia about 1930-40,

10ft.5in. x 7ft.6in. 3.17m. x 2.29m. Slight wear in center.


Older Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet
Older Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet

Older Bakhtiari Shahr Kurd Carpet

Older Shahr Kurd Carpet

Size: 6 foot 8 inch by 10 foot 4 inch.

I liked this rug as soon as we opened the bale. The color is excellent and the wool is too. It is not as formal as a city carpet but still far more elegant than most village rugs. This is a very pretty rug that with proper care will improve in looks in the years to come.

This is an attractive older Shahr Kurd Bakhtiari medallion carpet. Shahr Kurd Carpets used to be called Deh Kurd. Among Shahr Kurd carpets this is a very robust better than average grade rug. The color is very good and so is the wool.

Color is difficult over the internet, please use the Direct Scan below for the best representation of color in this rug

Shahr Kurd Carpet, Chahar Mahal Region, Iran, Mid-20th century.

Size: 6 foot 8 inch by 10 foot 4 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 63 per square inch (976.5 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 3 ply ivory cotton.

Weft: 2 shots blue cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Post-hitch wharf binding with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: Single cord overcasting red wool.

Handle: Heavy

Further Notes: Excellent condition. Birds in the pattern.


Bahktiari Salt Bag, Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province, 20th century
Bahktiari Salt Bag Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province 20th century

Classification: Persian Rugs / Iranian Rugs

Comments: See also my Guide to Bakhtiari Village Rugs.

Bahktiari Soumak Saltbag, West Persia, 20th century, 1 ft. 10 in. x 1 ft. 5 in.


Bahktiari Rug, Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province, early 20th century
Bahktiari Rug Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province early 20th century

Bahktiari Rug, West Persia, early 20th century, (end fraying), 6 ft. 8 in. x 5 ft. 2 in.


Bakhtiari Rug, Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province, early 20th century
Bakhtiari Rug Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province early 20th century

Bahktiari Rug, West Persia, early 20th century, (end fraying), 6 ft. 8 in. x 5 ft. 2 in.


Antique Bakhtiari Carpet
Antique Bakhtiari Carpet
Antique Bakhtiari Carpet
Antique Bakhtiari Carpet

Classification: Persian Rugs / Iranian Rugs.

Date of Origin Early 20th century Iran

Comments: Bakhtiari Carpets can be wonderful this is one of them. See also my Guide to Bakhtiari Village Rugs

Antique Bakhtiari Carpet: An upmarket Bakhtiari carpet woven for a prominent patron, with a meticulous pattern

Category Age Region

Pile Rugs & Carpets Early 20th century Iran

Size

5.85 x 4.07m


Bakhtiari Gabbeh, around 1930
Bakhtiari Gabbeh around 1930

Classification: Persian Rugs / Iranian Rugs

Comments: See also my Guide to Bakhtiari Village Rugs.

Description: Bakhtiari Gabbeh Southwest Persia, Shale Shotar, around 1930

Size: ca. 190 x 136 cm

Minimal losses to ends; sides original. Slight losses to pile; in good overall condition.

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