Oriental Rugs at Liberty a Conversation with Bruce Lepere

Oriental Rugs at Liberty: Bruce’s Office when he’s not off the beaten track sourcing rugs

I made a special connection with Bruce Lepere; Oriental Rug Buyer from Oriental Rugs at Liberty and a walking talking treasure for his knowledge of Liberty history. We pulled up a rug and discussed the essence of Liberty and his passion for discovering and personally sourcing rare rugs far off distant lands including the Khyber Pass, the bazaars of Peshawar and the Hindu Kusht mountains. All around us was evidence of his discerning eye and commitment to this passion.

Bruce and I talked surrounded by colour and pattern
Part silk antique rug from Turkmenistan with Liberty’s own Ianthe Rug beneath

We discussed the origins of the paisley an intriguing and beautiful figure widely used in Persia, India and throughout South Asia also later informing the designs of British interior fabrics, wallpapers and home wares. Persia is credited as being the first to create the boteh designs that later became known as paisley motifs. Boteh is a version of the Hindi word ‘buta’ which means ‘flower’ a symbol of fertility. It is described through analogy in many parts of the world including as ‘A twisted teardrop’ in Iranian and Indian, The ‘Persian pickle’ in Persia and ‘The egg: with white and yolk swirled together’ in China (Yin and Yang).

Many of the patterns looked very contemporary but in fact were very very old

Bruce spoke of his experience with Nomadic tribal weavers. The weaves are often dictated by process. The patterns are passed from generation to generation (Mother to Daughter). While there is seemingly little change to the overall pattern from generation to generation, individual women contribute uniqueness in subtle ways through color, material and knot count.

Very old Turkish woollen rugs

The rugs were out of this world; their colors electric; the patterns intricate, layered and beautiful. It was a treasure to see the different rugs in one place. They were from Iran, Morocco, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Persia etc. etc. The patterns, colors, motifs and materials within the rugs were a reminder of both man’s connection and dependence on nature and season.

The Four Seasons Rug (Persia) hanging centrally

One of the special rugs on display was The Four Seasons Rug, a rare intricately detailed rug made between 19th to early the 20th Century in Persia. It depicts Persian Life of the time “…the sowing of Spring Crops; the dancing and feasts of Summe; harvest in Autumn and the clearing snow from the steps of the Mosque in Winter”. The Blue Mosque is repeated in both the Summer and Winter scenes and was one of the places I visited while in Istanbul.

Thank you Bruce Lepere for your generosity in giving time and sharing your extensive knowledge.

A true gift.

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