Antique Oriental rug samples are highly collectible for their peculiarities and small size.
Oriental rug samples have special names. Called a wagireh, or vagireh, these are small sampler rugs woven to demonstrate color, design, texture and weave to a potential buyer. The small size made them practical to be carried around by rug salesmen. I’ve seen a few of these over the years and those in excellent condition are highly collectible. The ca. 1890 Kirman wagireh [top] was presented at Christie’s auction in April 2008. Believed to be a sampler for Kazan Carpet Co in New York, this one displays 45 shades of color available for weaving. The hammer price on the gem was $27,030!
The city of Kirman lies in the southeastern area of Iran. To its north, the Lavar region produced Kirman rugs of very high quality. This late 19th c. Lavar Kirman wagireh has animals, floral motifs, lovebirds and a poetic inscription in the border.
Another antique Kirman is a completed carpet that illustrates the colors and styles displayed in both of these samplers. Here, the tree of life motif is easier to see as are the depictions of various animals.
(Source: Christie’s, groganco.com, sepahanrugs.co.uk)
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