CU-1471 - Antique Persian Bakshaish Rug
13ft X 17ft 06in
This is a truly unique, extremely imaginative NW Persian rustic carpet with a sky/land/water iconography. The two species of birds, larger parrots and smaller bulbuls (nightingales), refer to the sky and provide a link to the classic Persian garden. The elaborate flowering garden urns and the long, curled leaves refer to the decorations and foliage of the garden, always in flower in Persian myth and legend. The birds nest and perch on branches and stems in the garden of the mind. The paired fish refer to water generally, for example the water channels irrigating the garden. Elaborated Persian garden iconography virtually requires fish in the water, no matter how schematically the latter is depicted. The creamy ivory ground is a neutral foil for the garden and its inhabitants. Thus, the three aspects of the earth are cleverly integrated, without any overt human activity, presence or figures.
The straw-gold main border shows totally abstract leaf or foliate forms which, depending on the viewer, may have zoomorphic aspects. Perhaps birds, perhaps turtles, perhaps something else. Some motives are split and resemble generalized conifers. The minor borders show rosettes and interesting butterfly-like forms. Again, the viewer can make them anything. The pattern is so strongly divergent from Heriz-Bakshaish practice of the period that a special commission for a very unusual client with developed artistic tastes is to be taken as a given.