Lavar Kerman, circa 1930
13'5" x 10'5"
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Sizes Are Approximate. Photos Are Representative And Not Necessarily Exact For Color
New Rugs Are Of The Highest Quality In Its Category And Are Handpicked Overseas By The Bashir Family
Situated in south-east Persia, Kerman (Kirman) was one of the towns where the Safavids set up a court atelier. It has remained an important centre of carpet production ever since, particularly over the last century. An interesting influence during the nineteenth century was the town’s tradition of woollen shawl production. Many local weavers produced beautifully woven shawls decorated with designs based on the floral-cone motif, the boteh, known in Europe as Paisley. As the demand for shawls declined, partly explained by the fact that by the late nineteenth century, similar shawls were being produced in Paisley, Scotland, the weavers were smart enough to adapt their skills to the increasingly popular skill of carpet weaving with successful results. Not surprisingly the floral-cone motif is frequently to be seen in Kerman carpets in numerous permutations.
It is often hard to pinpoint exactly what constitutes a Kerman design, as the motifs and patterns used are typical of many centres of Persian carpet production. Floral medallions and corner motifs are popular, as are flowering tree patterns and pictorial hunting designs. Pale washed-out colours such as beige and white are typical. The Lavar is a very finely knotted large piece, with an unusual overall small floral pattern on an ivory field. It was possibly made specially to order. Lavar is now the accepted term for carpets produced in Ravar, near Kerman. Lavar was originally a misspelling. They are a particular kind of Kerman which, although quite rare, are famous for the superb quality of the weave. Typically woven in pinky colours, Lavars are very popular in America.
Sources and inspiration: Bérinstain, Valérie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Mengès, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.
"Antique" refers to carpets at least 100 years old, whereas rugs between 50 and 99 years of age are classified as "semi-antique".
Typically crafted with hand-spun wool and eco-friendly organic dyes, old carpets have a more luminous surface, creating an illusion of depth. Newer pieces are rarely able to capture the patina and character of an antique, which can add warmth to even the most pristine and minimalist spaces.
Oriental & Persian carpet designs began to change at the turn of the 20th century, as Western influence expanded across the Middle East. The authenticity of the unique designs produced by local cultures declined with the introduction of larger-scale production that aimed to accommodate foreign tastes. Preserving the traditional techniques involved in the craft also became more challenging following the effects of the Industrial Revolution.
Antique rugs are made of wool, cotton and silk. New rugs can be made from a variety of fibers, both natural and synthetic, including wool, cotton and silk, but also silk blends, faux silk (often called "Art Silk" or "artificial silk"), mercerized cotton and olefin.
If a rug has signs of wear but still looks vibrant, this is an indication that it is a genuine antique.
For insurance purposes, you should always obtain a certificate of authenticity from the dealer. This document should include the size, origin, age, style, materials, knot density, condition and estimated retail value of the carpet.
An authentic antique will not have a brand name associated with it, nor will it be hand-tufted.