Gabeh rug, Exhibition ‘South Persian Tribal Rugs’
from southern Persia
early 20th century
Size: 270 x 128 cm
Gabeh rugs stand out from other groups of oriental weavings through their bold geometric motifs, vibrant colour, relatively coarse knotting and long pile. The word Gabeh is said to derive from a similar word meaning ‘unshorn’.
They are, in their peculiar artistic logic, completely unlike most other oriental rugs and sometimes are more akin to western minimalist art for which they were often seen as inspiration. They are made by women of the Qashqa’i, the Lori and the Khamseh tribes of southern Persia.
There has been a recent resurgence in the manufacture of modern ‘Gabeh’ style rugs but they lack spontaneity and often appear contrived in their token display of ‘tribal’ motifs.