Is This a Karabagh or Bessarabian Rug?

Karabagh CarpetIs this really a Karabagh rug? It looks Bessarabian to me with the naturalistic floral motif and the black background. And yet, at the site where I found it on the Internet it is clearly identified as Karabagh woven in 1930.

Find Beautiful Karabagh Rugs On Amazon

Bessarabian Rugs On Amazon

And how about the one below? It too is identified by the seller as Karabagh. It seems obvious the two rugs are from the same region. But Karabagh? Quoting from one of my favorite rug books, Oriental Rugs: A Complete Guide by Charles W. Jacobson: Some of them used stylized flowers (very angular) in karabagh or bessarabianlarge clusters.

OK, I can see the large clusters…and I think I recognize the angularity. And after comparing it with a rug identified as Bessarabian and naturalistic (below) I am beginning to see the difference. I actually thought that the forms in the two rugs above could be described as naturalistic. I learned something…maybe.

Bessarabian Circa 1890

Bessarabian Circa 1890


2 thoughts on “Is This a Karabagh or Bessarabian Rug?

  1. Hi,
    I am from Moldova which i also called Besarabia. It is a bessarabian rug, but sure not from 1890, but nearly 1950-1960. The reason is that till the second WorlD War rugs had another desigh and there didn’t exist any artificial colorants as to make a rug like this.If you are interested in our handmade rugs can contact me on and can see more photos

  2. Hi,

    all these rugs are moldavian rugs (also wrongly called bessarabian rugs) or rose kilim rugs. All the kilim rugs from Moldova have floral medalion with roses or a mixted bouquet of flowers including roses. The two firs rugs in your post are made in the beginning of the last century, i can see it by the colors that are not bright, the last one in a “recent rug” made probably in the ’60 -’70.
    These rugs are not made any more as the local demande for them doesn’t exist.

    Such rugs can be bought on on on-line turkish rug seller, but they have a limited choise of rugs and are expensive because of intermediates. There are few on line shops specialized in moldavian rugs only. One of them is

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