Vintage Persian Shahrbabak Kerman Region from the South Central Iran, with medallion design with the illusion of 2 folded back sides.
Dim: 5’7″ x 7″
Age: 50+ years
Materials: Wool on cotton foundation
Remarks: From the Kerman Region in south central Persa, hand-knotted with vegetable dyes. Very intricate medallion design with meticulously woven botefs, precisely woven to create rows of botefs that organically swirl around in perfect rows.
Shahrbabak, also spelled Shahr-e Babak, is an ancient town located in the Kerman Province of south central Iran. It was founded during the Sasanian Dynasty eighteen hundred years ago. The majority of the population here and in the surrounding area belongs to the Afshar tribe.
Shahrbabak rugs are known in the market from the late nineteenth century. Recent weavings have a cotton foundation and a wool pile, but older Shahrbabak rugs were woven with a wool foundation and a wool pile. These rugs were made as floor coverings and as nomadic items woven for personal use. The Persian (asymmetric) knot is universally used. Flat-woven mum rugs also were made for use as floor coverings, storage bags, and other tribal necessities. Shahrbabak pile and flatwoven rugs were considered inexpensive, and were suitable for the local market and foreign export.
The rug designs are geometric, in allover or medallion styles. The rugs show influences from other Kerman Province nomadic carpets, as well as Turkmen Rugs, Caucasian (Caucasus region) rugs, and the Baluch, Lori, Qashqai, and Shiraz tribes. In general, the medallion weavings have one, two, or three lozenge-shaped devices surrounded by motifs decorated in a parallel style. The patterns in the field feature floral sprays, Boteh (paisley), Star, and other elements. Shahrbabak allover patterns employ French Flower Bouquet, Lattice, Mina khani, Shrub, Star, and other designs. The main borders are narrow, like many other tribal weavings, and have guard borders on each side. The borders are geometric: repeating flower heads, vines, and leaves, continuous star or tribal motifs are rendered. By the late twentieth century, some Shahrbabak weavers switched from using their traditional tribal designs to making rugs similar to those of other weaving regions in Iran in order to meet domestic and foreign export needs.
The colors used for the fields are ivory, dark blues, or reds. In addition, blues, browns, greens, yellows, and cinnamon are used in the borders, medallion, and design elements.
Shahrbabak formats range from small bags to rugs approximately eight feet by five feet. The grade quality ranges from medium to good