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Extremely Fine Antique Dark Beige Lavar Kerman Persian Rug, Hand Knotted, Circa1890
Design: Prayer Garden
Kerman carpets (sometimes "Kirman") are one of the traditional classifications of Persian carpets. Kerman is both a city and a province located in south central Iran, though the term sometimes describes a type which may have been made elsewhere. Kerman rugs are prized for a wide range of designs, a broad palette, use of natural dyes and fibers, great tensile strength and abrasion resistance, and expert color combinations. Typical manufacturing used an asymmetrical knot on cotton foundation, but rare examples include silk or part silk piles, or silk foundations with wool pile.
Because of the tremendous demand for rugs produced in Kerman and the complex demographics of this demand, a surprising variety of styles and designs were produced. Some Kerman rugs were woven explicitly for monied buyers from the West, some for local consumers with very different tastes.
Damask Rose is the most popular motif in Kerman rug designs, particularly in "Sabzikar Ravar" and "Gol Sorkhi" (Red Rose) rugs. Other well-known motifs are "Ghab Ghora'ani", "Setooni", "Ghabi", "Kheshti", "Saraam Atiyeh", "Jangali", "Shekargah" and "Lachak-Toranj". Kerman antique carpets often use the Toranj motif border of margins and narrow lines. Floral patterns woven into Kerman carpets in the 19th century are derived from the patterns of Kerman shawls, also made in Kerman at this time.
A distinct variation of Kerman carpets is the Lavar or Ravar Kerman. These carpets were produced in Ravar village next to Kerman city in the northern region and are known particularly for their fine weave and elegant, classically derived design of allover and central medallion formats. Most Ravar or Lavar Kerman carpets include a signature, either that of the weaver or the person for whom the carpet was woven.