Khamseh carpet, Exhibition ‘South Persian Tribal Rugs’

Khamseh carpet
from southern Persia
circa 1880
Size: 382 x 189 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. The overall palette was, however, somewhat darker and the warp material invariably brown undyed wool. The palette of this rug is rich with strong madder reds and golden yellows.
Three central medallions are surrounded by plant forms on an indigo blue ground. Such floral or fruit motifs featured here would appear to owe their inspiration to the rows of pomegranate trees found in the rugs of East Turkestan, now Xinjiang province of western China.