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

Antique Bessarabian Kilim

Circa 1890
372 × 259 cm 12’2” x 8’5”


A rare antique Bessarabian Kilim carpet with soft muted dyes and a large floral design.  It is extremely rare to find these larger kilims as they were mostly woven in smaller sizes. In excellent original condition all over.

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.

Please contact us to request a home visit, we love to travel all over the UK, we would be very happy to visit you with this antique kilim soon.  A free, no obligation service we have offered for over 30 years of business.

We will donate 10% from the sale of any of our antique Bessarabian Kilims to the Unicef Charity – To Protect Children In Ukraine.

. . .

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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