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Antique Persian Rug

This article contains:
Design Guide for Antique Persian Rug
Buyer's Guide for Antique Persian Rug
Selection Guide for Antique Persian Rug
General Care for Hand Made Antique Persian Rug
Product Reviews for Antique Persian Rug

Emergency Care for Antique Persian Rug

oriental rug and carpetAntique Persian rug is an essential part of Persian art and culture. Carpet-weaving is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to the Bronze Age.

The earliest surviving corpus of antique Persian rugs come from the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) in the 16th century. However, painted depictions prove a longer history of production. There is much variety among antique Persian rugs of the 16th and 17th century. Common motifs include scrolling vine networks, arabesques, palmettes, cloud bands, medallions, and overlapping geometric compartments rather than animals and humans. This is because Islam, the dominant religion in that part of the world, forbids their depiction. Still, some show figures engaged either in the hunt or feasting scenes. The majority of these rugs are wool, but several silk examples produced in Kashan survive.

The major centers of antique Persian rug production in Persia were in Tabriz (1500-1550), Kashan (1525-1650), Herat (1525-1650), and Kerman (1600-1650).

The majority of rugs from Tabriz have a central medallion and quartered corner medallions superimposed over a field of scrolling vine ornament, sometimes punctuated with mounted hunters, single animals, or animal combat scenes. Perhaps the most well-known of the Tabriz works are the twin Ardabil rugs most likely made for the shrine at Ardabil.

Kashan is known for its silk carpet production. Most famously, for the three silk hunting carpet masterpieces depicting mounted hunters and animal prey. The Kashan rugs are among the most valuable in existence. One carpet, for example, is known to have been sold in Germany for $20,000 in 1969.

The Herat rugs, or ones of similar design created in Lahore and Agra, India, are the most numerous in Western collections. They are characterized by a red field with scrolling vine ornament and palmettes with dark green or blue borders.

The seven classes of Kerman rug were defined by May Beattie. She identified their unique structure and named it the "vase technique." Carpet types in this group include garden carpets (ornamented with formal gardens and water channels) and the ogival lattice carpets. A fine and well-known example of the later was purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum under the guidance of William Morris. The influence of Persian carpets is readily apparent in his carpet designs. For more information and selection on Persian carpets, please visit

An Antique Persian Rug is a piled or flatwoven fabric hand-knotted in one of the traditional weaving areas of the Middle or Far East. Genuine Oriental rugs and carpets come from Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, Turkey, some of the southern territories of the old Soviet Union (like Azerbaijan or Armenia), Balkan countries like Romania and Albania, and some North African countries like Morocco and Egypt. A Genuine Antique Persian Rug is not made in Belgium or anywhere else in Western Europe or in the United States.  No genuine Oriental rugs are made of nylon or polypropylene.

Antique Persian Rug are either knotted with pile or woven without pile. Antique Persian Rug made by machine or any method other than hand knotting or hand weaving are not considered authentic Antique Persian Rug. If you wish to view various designs of Antique Persian Rug, please visit

Antique Persian Rug Design Guide

Kashan rugs are categorized amongst the finest of the Persian rugs do to there very high quality wool, very fine weaving and beautiful colors and designs. The field of these Kashan rugs is generally decorated by a central medallion which terminates at the upper and lower ends in the flowering coronets. The rest of the field is closely decorated with flowers and vine tendrils. In the four quarters a richly decorated band outlines a motif which recalls the designs and colors of the central medallion.

Mahal rugs have large knots, which contributes to their softness. The decoration is either floral, but with large simple motifs, or of geometric style with a central diamond. The border is extremely simple and is of the traditional three-band type.

The decoration of Chinese rugs is relatively simple and consists, for the most part, of various kinds of wavy line motifs along the edges and the Taoist and Buddhist emblem in the field.


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