Bakshaish is a town on the banks of the Talke Rud River in the Heriz region of Northwest Persia. Situated in the mountainous region 60 miles east of the large city of Tabriz, Bakshaish is the oldest rug weaving village in the district of Heriz, noted for carpets with highly artistic, tremendously diverse abstracted adaptations of age-old tribal and classical Persian motifs. The finest antique Oriental Bakshaish (also spelled Bakhshayesh or Bakshish) offer large carpets with a geometric, folkloric character found predominantly in small Persian rugs.

In their softness of color and line, the appearance of antique Bakshaish carpets somewhat resembles theSultanabad carpets of Central Persia, yet with designs drawn to substantially more free form, improvisational and geometric proportions. These are folk art masterworks in which the individual artistic creative decision of the weavers can usually be abundantly seen. The viewer will take delight in discovering the idiosyncratic temperament of the Bakshaish weaver, as seldom is one motif drawn in exactly the same fashion twice, and borders, even center medallions, are usually playfully misshapen.

The best antique Bakshaish carpets 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.

Bakshaish weavers employed both soft reds and navy tones for the base color of the field, with the use of ivory, or sometimes golden Camelhair grounds being particularly rare and beloved. Highly prized, the best Oriental and Persian carpets utilize undyed camelhair as the lustrous backdrop of the field. Exceptional blues are a hallmark of these antique Bakshaish rugs with hues of azure, turquoise, peacock and teal. Muted salmons, corals, buffs and yellows, as well as rich spring to jade greens, can also be found in abundance. Antique Bakshaish carpets have a structure similar to others of the Heriz group, although their weave is usually somewhat finer.

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