Stunning 18th Century Antique Portuguese Needlepoint Arraiolos Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Portuguese Rugs, Circa Date: 18th Century – Portuguese Arraiolos needlepoint carpets have a history that goes back to the Elizabethan Era. This one was created in the 18th century and is an exquisitely preserved collectible antique. Portuguese needlepoint rugs consist of stitches embroidered onto canvas to create the design. This is a different technique from hand-knotted wool rugs that you typically see. This one has a regal character and a European country charm that is classical and fits into traditional decor.
Portuguese Arraiolos rugs originated in communities of Jews who were ordered to leave quickly when Queen Isabella ousted the Moors and Jews from Spain in 1492. These Jewish outcasts landed in the Portuguese town of Arraiolos with few means to support themselves. The women brought their knowledge of needlepoint with them and began creating these beautiful antique carpets to sell as a means of survival.
Portuguese needlepoint carpets show a significant Spanish influence in the patterns and motifs. Many of them look like Spanish tiles, but this one shows the influence of Persian carpets, which were imported into Spain and Portugal from the 1600s onwards. This is a beautiful and highly collectible rug, and it is an excellent example of Portuguese Arraiolos needlepoint rugs. It holds a unique and special place in history, and it will make a beautiful addition to your collection or home.
This is an exceptionally large size rug and took many hours to create. Its design has balance and symmetry in both directions, an element that draws on its Persian influence. Originally, these pieces were used in formal dining halls, and for seating areas in front of the cozy fireplace. In the world of carpets, they are relatively rare, and a piece as old as this one is a treasured find. You will notice a coat of arms at the top and several humans wearing traditional clothing of the time. It is a hunting scene and may have been a commissioned piece. It is an extraordinary piece of history and a piece that will be treasured for many decades to come. It is an exceptional piece for a collection.