- Museum number
A large, rectangular carpet / rug. Polychrome patterning, tapestry woven [5 e.p.c; 14 e.p.i], on a natural cream woollen warp (macramé at ends). Centre field comprises six composite bands of geometric motifs, each seven motifs across, and two deep: each motif has a '+' (cross) within a hexagon, all on a red 'ground'. A repeating motif comprising a double-linked cross within a geometric shape with 'hooks' attached, this time on a cream 'ground', encloses the centre field; a narrower black (inner) and red (outer) border. A little damage and some red dye transfer.
- Production date
- 1870-1890 (circa)
Length: 270 centimetres
Width: 215 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Eth Doc 1892, no.134: A very large carpet made by semi-professional weavers from locally produced wool and dyes. The designs are in many different colours on a rich red background. There are repeated motives - insects, double-linked crosses, human figures and others set in large narrow and wide oblongs within an outer red border. There is a fringe at each end. The carpets from Pirot were widely in demand - each one was different, the weaver improving the design as the work progressed, but always using traditional symbolic patterns.
Religion: Serbian Orthodox.
Information supplementary to Eth Doc:
The Times newspaper, Aug 20, 1889: 8; issue 32782; col B: 'The finer kinds [of carpet] ('chilim') are principally worked at Pirot, which has a very high reputation for these goods and is looked upon by the Servians with much pride and confidence as a centre of future wealth in this industry. These carpets are worked by peasant women in the town, and there is also a State factory, where the more elaborate and expensive designs are executed. A large assortment forms the chief feature of the Servian section of the Paris Exhibition. The general groundwork is a brilliant red, with patterns woven in blue, purple, green, yellow and other colours. The vegetable dyes, formerly made by the weavers themselves, were very durable and did not suffer in washing; but complaints are now common that aniline dyes are being brought into use, to the great detriment of this industry. Many of the carpets are extremely pretty, especially those with a deep blue, almost black; brown; whilst others, with a white ground, and patterns tastefully blended in yellow, red, and green, are handsome, though rather rare. Much education with respect to artistic colouring and design is still necessary, as some of the carpets which are shown in Paris are surprisingly glaring and ugly, though these are few in number. The 'chilim' has no pile; the surface is smooth and hard, and if these carpets ever become popular in Western Europe they will do so as hangings rather than floor coverings, for which they have not sufficient warmth for very cold, damp counties. The selling price of these carpets varies from 6s. to 7s. 6d. per square yard, though some of the better sorts from the State factory cost from 9s. to 10s.6d. The peasant women who make these carpets in their own cottages on the outskirts of town are mostly in the hands of taskmasters, who pay them as a rule the 'sweating' wages of 3 3/4 d. and a little bread per day.'
Se also Mita Zivkovic, 'Album of Pirot Kilims' (Teschen, Austria) 1902, and Milena Vitkovic-Zikic, 'Les Kilims de Pirot', Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Belgrade 2001, no. 27, a late 19th century example with similar arrangement of motifs.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number