This week’s blog is an Antique Spotlight on our fabulous Antique Ardal Bakhtiari gallery carpet. Located just outside of Isfahan, Char Mahal is the birthplace of the Bakhtiari carpet. Read this week’s Antique Spotlight to learn more about this remarkable Persian carpet from the birthplace of Bakhtiaris.
Bakhtiari carpets are fascinating due to the sheer quantity of weavers that create them, many with their own unique styles and designs. Out of the 300 villages that make Bakhtiari carpets, the better-known villages that create them are the Chalchotor, Saman, Shalemgar, Kafero, and Khorey tribes. Bakhtiari carpets typically have one of three stylized garden designs the first two incorporate either rectangular or diamond-like shapes together to create a structural pattern. Inside these shapes, weeping willows, flowers, butterflies, and boteh (paisley) motifs are evenly distributed to create a relaxing design. The third style of Bakhtiari carpet is still a garden-style design but instead uses a large central medallion instead of a repetitive structural design. Medallion Bakhtiari carpets are identifiable by their large central motif, and are classically composed in rich red, blue, green, yellow, or white tones.
Our example Bakhtiari is unique and was created by the master weaver, Ardal. Renowned across Persia for his line of Bakhtiari carpets, Ardal pieces are sought after for their extraordinary craftsmanship and their limited production (1870-1900). In much the same way that Orley Shabahang creates carpets by hand to this day, Ardal utilized the finest raw materials and weavers to create Char Mahal’s most exemplary Bakhtiari pieces. Like other traditional Bakhtiaris, the example carpet has a panel-style pattern and incorporates the classic Bakhtiari motifs of weeping willows, butterflies, caterpillars, and a large assortment of flowers. However, this Ardal carpet differs from other Bakhtiari by its uncommon combination of wool tones and the weave. Notice that the Ardal design is more refined, and the field and border motifs have a great deal more clarity. Additionally, this border uses large open-faced flowers that are interconnected throughout the carpet by vines and bouquets.
The only way to truly tell the difference between an Ardal and a market Bakhtiari is by feeling the difference. With two convenient Milwaukee locations, stop by one of our showrooms to see this fine art piece and the rest of our incredible antique collection.