Claremont Rug Company Provides Detailed Look Into Bakshaish Antique Rugs

July 15, 2021

Claremont Rug Company founder/president Jan David Winitz today announced that the third installment of his precedent-setting series about antique Persian Bakshaish rugs would be published on July 16 on the Gallery’s website (

“The academic and historical research, supported by my interviews with weaving group families, provide a glimpse into the culture and social structure that has rarely been written about and then only as brief mentions,” he said. The entire three-part article is available at no charge on the Gallery’s website.

The best antique Bakshaish carpets from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving (ca. 1800 to ca. 1910) are connoisseur’s delights, exhibiting truly original patterns, unusual movement and asymmetry of design, and a richness and maturity of color obtained by the masterful use of natural dyes. They transcend the decorative to become truly one-in-the-world art objects.

Winitz, author of “The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug” (Breema Press, 1985), pointed out that Wikipedia devotes only two short paragraphs to Bakshaish rugs and that Murray Eiland and Ian Bennett, who are considered the pre-eminent scholars/authors in the Oriental rug field, devote “very little time” to Bakshaish.

The town on the banks of the Talke Rud River in Northwest Persia is situated in the mountainous region 60 miles east of the large city of Tabriz. Bakshaish is the oldest rug weaving village in the region of Persian Azerbaijan, noted for carpets with highly artistic, tremendously diverse abstracted adaptations of age-old tribal and classical Persian motifs. The finest antique Bakshaish are typically larger carpets (8×11 to 13×17) with a geometric, folkloric character found predominantly in small tribal rugs.

“From my early years and as a trained educator, antique rugs, particularly those woven by Bakshaish tribes, have fascinated me,” he said. “While not all rugs from that region are elite level, the best still extant examples are awe-inspiring and highly coveted artifacts of a culture and weaving style that is less known than other regions.”

Winitz estimates that he has sold over 1000 elite-level Bakshaish (also spelled Bakhshayesh) carpets over the years. “We only deal in High Collectible and Connoisseur-level Bakshaish rugs,” he said. The Gallery has created a proprietary Antique Rug Pyramid© that divides rugs into six tiers, Level 1 thru Level 6. Rugs at the top of the Pyramid (Level 1) are primarily held by royal families and in museums. Level 2 (High Collectible) and Level 3 (Connoisseur) are the most coveted by collectors but rarely available. “The vast majority of our Bakshaish inventory is comprised of Level 2 and 3 pieces,” he said.

Bakshaish rugs available at the Gallery range in value from $30,000 to $200,000. The entire Claremont inventory is comprised of over 2500 rugs.

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