Antique Persian Bakshaish “Tree of Life” | 9′ 8″ x 12′, Circa 1850




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As much as I adore ultra-fine classical Motasham Kashans, I am equally elated when I come across a truly great elemental Bakshaish rug, which is quite seldom at this point in time. This entirely folkloric example of the “Tree of Life” design both affects me deeply and makes me smile through its idiosyncratic display of blossoming trees, which are stripped down to their most elemental features. The rug’s brilliance lies to a great extent in that the six women who wove it some 170 years ago had very little regard for maintaining a consistent design, proportion, size or placement of the 26 tree forms they portrayed. Instead they opted to capture the essence of the random yet entirely harmonious fashion in which a forest grows.

19th century Bakshaishs are beloved by seasoned connoisseurs for the potency of their mid-tone blues, and this piece excels through the continually shifting tones of sapphire, royal, cerulean, cornflower and cobalt blues in its main border. The neutral toned background is actually composed of umpteen sand to wheat shades, reminding us of the non-repeating quality of everything in the natural world. Looking closely, you may see birds perched atop many of the trees. And are those nests with eggs in some of the boughs? Like many of the best early rugs woven in the high mountain village of Bakshaish I’ve experienced, this virtuoso piece is a celebration of nature in its most virgin state.

We are constantly updating the collection gallery, replacing rugs that have been sold with others from this monumental group. Revisit the gallery often using this link: