Flat-woven balisht face

Circa 1890
Darreh Gaz area, Northeast Persia
66 cm x 35
2'2" x 1'1"

Woven in the slit tapestry technique, this fine balisht face (cushion cover) is attributed to the Kurdish exclave located in Khorasan since the 16th century, having been relocated there by Shah Abbas. It’s distinguished by the use of high quality lustrous wool, with all ivories being in cotton and with some details in magenta silk. Darreh Gaz is located north of other Hezar Masjid mountains, in an area irrigated by many rivers resulting in rich pastures, therefore accounting for the lanolin-rich quality of its wool. The sheep are of the Moghanli breed, brought into Khorasan from Azerbaijan by the Afshar tribes and known for the superior quality of their fleece. The central element here is a stylisation of the elibelinde motif seen on Turkish kilims, and is one of the many traces of the Anatolian origin of this tribe.

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