44635 Antique Motashem Kashan, Persia, late nineteenth century – Kashans are among the finest Persian carpets, while Motashems are the finest Kashans, so here we see the best of the best. At the center of the field a grand red medallion with arabesque detail sprouts complex finials, balanced by ivory cornerpieces with similarly elaborate internal detail. Vinescrolls writhe gracefully across the intervening soft blue ground. Spiraling vine and palmettes comprise the main border, but set now against a dramatic blue-black ground the frames the field with suitable contrast, reinforced by red ground minor borders. The color harmony is especially lovely, with tones that are at once rich yet soft. The exceptional quality of the drawing and color is matched by opulent texture of the velvety wool pile.