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Celebrating 15 Years with a 15% Reduction across our entire inventory until 31st July.

Antique Bessarabian Kilim

Circa 1890
203 × 150 cm 6’7” x 4’11”


Woven in the late 19th century, we have this wonderful Bessarbian kilim in a rare brown/aubergine toned background, the dye changes are subtle and work so well with the design to resemble flowing water.  The muted border with subtle pinks, powder blues and sage greens for the floral patterns create a lovely palette.  A rare size too for a Bessarabian kilim of this age, as usually they are much larger in size.

An unusual background colour on this kilim, as more often they were woven with blues or green tones.  In good order for its age of over 130 years old, and supplied with our sturdy anti-slip underlay, this kilim would look fantastic on the floor for another 100 years.  It would be a pleasure to show this Bessarabian kilim to you at home or at our showroom, please make contact with us in your preferred way to arrange a time.

While most Persian carpets can be classified to a specific region corresponding to their weave, this is not the case with Bessarabian carpets and rugs. With these rugs, the weave only gives clues about the market it was created for (rural or urban); therefore, a normal classification is disregarded and the broader term, “Bessarabian”, is applied.

Bessarabian rugs and carpets are the commonly given name for rugs in pile and tapestry technique originating in Ukraine and Moldova during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Some scholars will classify flat-woven carpets as Bessarabian, while referring to knotted-pile carpets as Ukrainian. They are predominantly from an area corresponding to modern Bulgaria and Romania. Produced under late Ottoman rule, they stand right on the cusp of European and Oriental carpet weaving.

. . .

Carpets and kilims were woven with sheep wool on the vertical or horizontal looms; sometimes hemp or flax was used for the base. Woollen yarn was dyed with natural dyes from local plants and insects. A group of kilims with floral patterns were produced from central regions of Ukraine (Poltava, Kyiv, Chernihiv) Ornament consists of images of flowers, more or less stylised or branches with flowers arranged rhythmically or related to the overall pattern.

Late 19th century pieces such as this floral design had softer colours than the Kilims woven in the early part of the twentieth century. The dancing flowers in the border design and abstract floral designs in the main field are beautifully subtle.  Often similar in design to that of Caucasian designs such as Karabagh.  We love how the background of these Kilims have almost a wave like watery effect, look closely at the image to see this clever weaving technique in the background.

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