Khamseh carpet – Exhibition ‘South Persian Tribal Rugs’

Khamseh carpet

from southern Persia

dated A.H.1327 / C.E.1909

Size: 285 x 183 cm


The Khamseh are a confederacy of five tribes who banded together in the 1860s purportedly to combat the might of the neighbouring Qashqa’i tribes. In the 19th century they produced rugs similar in character to those of the Qashqa’i.  This splendid old rug is perhaps best described as having ‘symmetry without symmetry’. The composition comprises three large symmetrical medallions surrounded by a profusion of smaller stylized trees, flowers, leopards, chickens, and all manner of smaller geometric devices. The ultimate effect is not one of clutter but of great harmony and enduring entertainment.

The careful selection and placement of colours and motifs suggest the work of an experienced weaver and probably, by size and craftsmanship, made as a commission for an important member of the tribe or clan.