Aboul Ghasem Kermani Rugs
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Known as the master of masters, Aboul Ghasem Kermani (circa 1880-1900) is one of the most prestigious names associated with carpet weaving in Persia and Kerman.
This versatile master rug weaver is most known for his cosmopolitan designs that were woven in wool and silk. Many of his works include paisley boteh motifs, pictorial rug images, dense floral patterns, extravagant borders and rose medallions borrowed from other carpet producing regions.
Carpets designed by the great Aboul Ghasem Kermani embody the expressive colors and designs associated with the region of Kerman and the revivalist movement just before the turn of the 20th century.
The story of Persian carpets would hardly be complete without the story of Aboul Ghasem Kermani. He is known as a “Master of Masters” among carpet designers. His work played an important role in the development of the industry and in our appreciation of Persian carpets today. Ghasem Kermani was part of a movement to revive the once-great Persian carpet industry to its former glory.
The Evolution of Persian Carpets
The Persian carpet industry had its roots in the 16th century when the rulers of the Safavid dynasty established carpet schools for the production of the carpets of the Royal courts. These carpets became famous around the world and resulted in great prosperity for the Dynasty. Many of the traditional designs that we know today were developed during this time.
Kerman is an ancient city that established a reputation for creating masterpieces that were in high demand around much of the world, and it was considered an important center for pieces intended for wealthier clientele. However, over time, the industry went into a decline due to a series of invasions, and an increased interest in shawl production. For a time, rugs became less popular than the production of beautiful shawls, and the weaving industry turned its attention in a different direction.
In the early part of the 19th century, the city of Kerman was sacked and burned to the ground during a time of civil unrest. During that time, many of the weavers escaped to the nearby town of Laver and began producing their carpets once again. Both of these weaving traditions had an effect on the development of a unique style that was delicate and even more refined than those in the past. These carpets became known as Laver Kermans. Today, this term means a fine quality rug that is of exceptional beauty.
Ghasem Kermani and the Great Revival
During the 1880s, there was an effort by several master weavers to attempt to revive the once-great Persian carpet industry. Masters were sought who still knew how to create the beautiful designs that made Persian carpets famous. Aboul Ghasem Kermani was one of them who was chosen for the task.
Once again, the looms of Kerman were producing rugs with the same skill and masterful designs that made them famous. Kerman became famous for its wide range of patterns and beautiful colors. Ghasem Kermani was instrumental in the development of the soft, graceful style or which Kerman carpets were known. Many times, a rug of this quality could take a team of weavers a year or more to create under the watchful eye of the master weaver.
The works of Ghasem Kermani are now considered some of the most treasured masterpieces of the world. The Tehran Carpet Museum has one of the most extensive collections of works by this carpet master and many of his contemporaries. They are some of the most beautiful in the world and worth a visit if you are in the area. The Nazmiyal Collection also has an impressive selection of carpets by Ghasem Kermani and other master weavers. The chance to see one in person is a real treat.