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rug no longer available Hamadan Khamseh rug, Kalajuk village, ca. 1900–1920

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Hamadan Khamseh rug,  Kalajuk village—click to see enlarged view


This small Khamseh Hamadan rug similar to the design published in Cecil Edwards' The Persian Carpet as no. 93 (a book with a much wider coverage of the Hamadan area than can be found in other general rug books) and also similar to no. 11 in Willborg's Hamadan book, though I dare say that the design of this piece is more interesting compared to Willborgs, and the colour more attractive. Willborg says about products form the Khamseh area that 'one sees little of green and yellow' which for this piece is true for yellow (just a few details), but not true for green (of which there are several nice shades).

I think the field design is a coarse geometric rendering of an arabesque design with palmettes and rosettes. Striking is the form of the medallion's pendants, which rise pole-like to end in an elongated cone which assumes the character of a totemic face without much bending of the imagination. Surely, it is just flower motives what we see inside the cone, but the serrated upwards curling white leaves flanking the cone just call up the image of an angry good lifting his arms threateningly.


The rug measures 6ft.10in. x 3ft.1in. (197 x 95 cm). Cotton warps and wefts (one shoot, as usual for Hamadan weaves), no warp depression, symmetrical knots. Wefts are quite fat and of varying thickness. The knot count is 23/10 cm horizontal, 35/10cm vertical = 805 knots per sqare dm, or ca. 48 kpsi (knots per square inch). The V/H is ratio 1.52.


If you look out for Hamadans regularly on Ebay, you will find that there are few that are both of good age (i.e., having natural dyes) AND in good condition - usually it is either a piece in horrific dyes but good condition (some with just one annoying hot orange), or a good old one but in a sorry state. This one is old (I admit it may be as late as 1930, but probably not older) AND in a good state, with even wear and no problems. The top is slightly reduced (half the outer secondary border is missing) but has been secured. The bottom still shows the typical 1-2 cm balanced off-white plain weave cotton, with one small and hardly visible stain (tea?). The selvages are formed by one cable (two warps) overcast in what could be olive brown wool or goat hair (seems bristly), or a mix of both. The pile is short through wear, just slightly lower in the centre, but nowhere down to knotheads. No holes, colour run, etc.


A simple but harmonious palette of probably all-natural dyes: medium madder red field, medium blue medallion ground. White a bit of pale yellow, reddish brown (used for example as main border background), dark blackish-brown (for outlining), two or three shades of green with a slight olive tint. Nice is the abrash from blue to green and back in one of the pendant ends (cones).

More images

Hamadan-Kalajuk - bottom left

Hamadan-Kalajuk - lower field

Hamadan Kalajuk- top half

Hamadan Kalajuk- medallion

Hamadan Kalajuk- pendant

Hamadan Kalajuk- pile detail

Hamadan Kalajuk- pile fold

Hamadan Kalajuk- totem like pendant

Hamadan Kalajuk- back side

Last update: 05 September 2007 | Impressum—Imprint