Oversized Antique 17th Century Persian Esfahan Oriental Rug 44143
Rare and Collectible Oversized Persian Antique 17th Century Esfahan Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Persian Rugs, Circa Date: 17th Century
This antique rug from Esfahan features a grand arabesque with ornate cloud bands and Shah Abbasi palmettes that are enclosed by turtle and vine scroll borders. Created in the 17th century, this exquisite antique Persian Esfahan rug features an eloquent allover arabesque with sinuous hairline vine-scrolls linking poly chromatic Saz leaves, grand Shah Abbasi palmettes and superfluous cloud-bands with decorative contours. Formal turtle and vine-scroll borders set over an obscure midnight-blue background boldly contrast the field while reflecting the beautifully oxidized color palette. The exceptional turtle and vine-scroll borders depict formal medallions with flourishing botanical fins that are surrounded by a maze of sinuous vine-scrolls. This exceptional antique rug captures a rich variety of fine details and double outlines that highlight each curve-linear vine-scroll and delicate floral motif. The gently oxidized color palette features a restrained triad of classic colors, including Persian blues, golden-yellow neutrals, brick reds and midnight blues.
Study of an Exceptional Antique 17th Century Persian Esfahan Rug
Cloud-bands dominate the in and out palmette pattern of the classical long 17th Century Esfahan Persian rug in central Iran. The lac red field displays a wide variety of side viewed palmettes, rosettes, layers of arabesque, as well as complete and partial cloud-bands. This design repertoire appears on literally hundreds of these carpets but never the same twice except in rare, few carpet pairs.
The midnight blue border envelops lager palmettes and scrolling vines in an ensuite manner. This red-blue (or deep green) combination is an “Esfahan” feature. A very few of these carpets are blue with red borders. This is a large example, but carpets of similar weave and style can be as much as 50’ in length, implying establish professional workshops.
The foundation is all cotton with three wefts between rows and the pile is wool short clipped. Some examples have white cotton highlights and these are related carpets with silk wraps.
The type was popular and long lived from the end of the 16th century to well into the 18th. Our piece fits relatively early into the evolution with its well drawn, complex border and finely detailed field.
There is nothing formulaic about 44143 unlike the later 17th-early 18th century rugs.
The condition is quite good for so early a carpet, and there has been no painting or bad re-pilling, all too often visited on these estimable carpets.
The origin of this large group has always been a matter of debate. Esfahan has been the preferred source, but early travelers then did not not want their presence in the bazaar as they did of the silk and metal thread “polonaise” rug (see our 40757 for a fine example).
Agra, in northern India, has been proposed as an alternative, and the design continues right into and through the 19th century in Agra large carpets. Pending dye fests of the pie in a sufficient number of carpets, the matter remains open. An Esfahan rug attribution is usefully accepted at present.