Baluch “Main” Carpet, Sistan Region of SE Persia, 19th C.,  4’1” x 9’2”


It has been some time since I’ve handled a rug of this type and age.  These rugs were made to be used and given the nature of many Baluch rugs (soft lustrous wool pile), many often survive as fragments or worn remnants of something that was once beautiful.   This example, though not without some minor repairs, mostly in the corrosive aubergine dye.   But there are a few, small scattered repairs of little to no consequence.

Sometimes referred to in the marketplace as “Mushwani”, it is probably more accurate to say it comes Sistan and made by the people who live there.  Mushwani refers to the latchhook design type, often seen elsewhere  among the Bahlul located further to the north.  The size, longer dimensions, suggest it fulfills he long/main carpet function among those villagers.  Apparently, their homes included rooms of longer and narrow dimensions for which these rugs intended.

Surely an older and well used and apparently cherished rug (after all, it survived, somehow!), based upon the pleasing use of color and proportions of bleached white wool to the wide and varying palette of red, aubergine, blue, green and rust/orange red.  The drawing, too, suggests the rug is older than many.  The medallions are not stiffly rendered as copies of one another suggesting the freehand drawing approach to the design…then left to marvel at the woman’s skills as surely she was a master weaver.

The colors are all derived from natural dyes.





















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