A Breathtaking Rare 17th Century Large Antique Persian Isfahan Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Antique Persian Rugs, Circa Date: 17th Century – This beauty is a rare find in the world of antique rugs. It was created in the 17th century in the city of Isfahan. It is an important historical piece for several reasons, and it pays homage to the masterpieces that were created during the golden age of Persian rug weaving. Let’s explore its story.
The story of this magnificent piece began in the 16th century when Shah Abbas launched a campaign to establish the Safavid Dynasty as a leader in the world of fine rug making. At that time, Persian and Turkish rugs were symbols of wealth and highly prized throughout Europe and Asia. As part of these efforts, the Shah established carpet weaving schools in several major cities. The first was in the city of Isfahan, which was the Persian capital at that time.
Isfahan was one of the first looms established for creating the famous Court carpets, and it remained an important production center until 1736 when Iran fell into a time of rebellion and invasions by the Ottomans and Russians. During this time, the Persian carpet industry fell into a decline that would last until the late 19th century. The importance of this carpet is that it demonstrates the color combinations, distinctive layout, and motifs that characterized Persian rugs made during the “Golden Age”.
This is an exceptionally large rug and shows the precision of the carpets created in the Court weaving schools. The weaving is fine and allows for the high level of detail for which Court carpets were known. It shows both vertical and horizontal symmetry and a repeating motif. This symmetry is meant to reflect spiritual harmony and balance. The design uses the Shah Abbas rug palmette motif, which is a motif credited to this period in Persian carpet history.
The central medallion pattern is a loose abstraction of the pools that were key features of Persian gardens. The abundance of floral elements and plant life reflects man’s connection to nature. This carpet features the cloudband motif, which represents the heavenly realms and is thought to be of Chinese origin. These rugs provide a glimpse into the world of the Safavid rulers and life within the palace walls.
Although the precise date of this breathtaking antique Persian Isfahan rug is not known, it gives us clues that it might have been among the last of the Persian carpets produced on the court looms before the industry fell into decline. This breathtaking area rug would make an excellent addition to any collection and is exceptionally well-preserved for its age.