Source: Shahsavan Kilim, Kermanshah Province, northwestern Iran, ca.1880, Skinner Auction preview, April 2019.
Shahsavan rugs are geometric patterned textiles produced by the Shahsavan tribe, a large nomadic pastoralist group inhabiting a mountainous area known as the Transcaucasus in northwestern Iran. Here, the diverse weaving traditions of Turkish, Persian, and Armenian people coalesced into an impressive new rug grouping characterized by highly geometric designs and vibrant natural dyes. Unlike Caucasion rugs that can be identified by regional artistic traditions codified over centuries by a town or area, Shahsavan weavings rarely adhere to a specific design style. In addition, while the Caucuses, tend to produce smaller, area sized pile rugs, the nomadic Shahsavan weavers produce a higher percentage of flat weave Kilims. In this series, the original multicolor pattern of black, yellow, red, blue and white was reduced to black, gunmetal blue, and rust on white.