Tag: foreign flower

#19160 Besserabian Kilim: circa 1850

Rug #19160

Rug Type: Besserabian – Kilim

Origin: Russia

Size: 7’5″ x 10’5″

circa: 1850

material: wool

The Present Besserabian Kilim is a published piece and can be seen in “European and American Carpets and Rugs” by Cornelia Bateman Faraday.  Originally published in 1929 by the Dean-Hicks Company – Decorative Arts Press, the book was later re-published by the Antique Collectors’ Club.  The published kilim (seen below) Cornelia points out, is “very close in style to the Savonnerie and Aubusson originals which were the inspirations for extensive Besserabian weaving industry in the 19th century, and industry geared principally to satisfy the ever increasing demand of the Russian bourgeoisie for French style furnishings.  This is a particularly sophisticated example of the type which in turn was copied with varying degrees of sucess by village and peasant weavers in Azerbaijain throughout the 19th century, where the pattern became known as the gul farangi (‘foreign flower’).”

Though much of what we know about carpets and kilims has evolved over time, and may not have been known to Mrs. Faraday, much (if not most) of the information she provides in this book remains pertinent today.

Cornelia’s 1929 original preface:

“After many years of careful study, and wide experience with the individual characteristics of European and American rug fabrics, the author ventures to put for this book, with the hope that it may be interesting and useful.  The process of assembling the rugs and carpets of Europe and America into one volume has seemed much like gathering a huge bouquet, where each blossom is not only lovely in itself but also enhances the beauty of all the others.

The author is deeply grateful for the authoritative information and valuable assistance so cordially offered and wishes especially to acknowledge indebtedness and extend thanks to (see images for full preface, only lines pertinent to this rug have been included below):


Mr. Forzen Olrik, Director of the Dansk Folkmuseum, Copenhagen; the Director of the Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo; and Miss Emelie Von Walterstorff of the Nordiska Museet, Stockholm, for assistance on rugs of the Northern Countries.

Mr. Claudius Filasiewicz, Director of the Industrial High School in Lwow, for important information and illustrations from Poland.

Also to that best of friends, her mother, whose constant and helpful encouragement are woven into the pages of this book, and to her hosts of other friends who have helped along the way.”

New York City                                                                              C.B.F.

July 27, 1929

To view this kilim on our website, please use the following link: