View Our Entire Collection of Antique Irish Donegal Rugs

Antique Irish Donegal Rugs – The manufacture of Irish Donegal rugs began in 1858, in Ireland. The conventional designs of these stylish arts and crafts design rugs border neoclassical features from the 20th century. The Irish Donegal rugs were predominantly custom made with colors that were selected according to the preference of the client. The history of these Irish rugs borders the positive influence of an English textile designer named William Morris. He applied art nouveau as well as arts and crafts design aesthetics and as a result, the popularity of his designs sky rocketed. Among the important centers for rug weaving in Europe are Spain, England, and France. The history began in 1889 under the influence of Alexander Morton & Company in London. The firm produced handmade carpets in Donegal, Ireland.  During which time, an entrepreneur by the name of Gustav Stickley was the owner of many Donegal carpets.

In 1906, Stickley offered people of Donegal a chance to be part of the artistic side of the Donegal Irish rugs business. He offered an original display of Donegal rugs in a gallery called Grafton, in London which, according to Stickley, those were the best quality Donegal rugs. During the exhibition, many people marveled at the beauty of the rug selection. That show marked the beginning of the official launch of the Irish Donegal rug production. The business represents the Irish culture and contribution to the industry of arts. The Donegal rugs produced in the 19th century represent the movement of arts and crafts, while many of the early 20th Century productions shifted to more of an art nouveau design approach.

Donegal rugs offer a more contemporary artistic feel. They also look like the best part of traditional arts in medieval arts. During their production, the Donegal rugs featured a combined touch of decorative idioms from Europe and Spain. They also have an ancient Celtic tradition and the first designs of Donegal featured Celtic rug patterns.

Richly colored and beautifully drawn, these beautiful antique rugs may have a contemporary Art Nouveau emphasis, or, alternatively they may look back to the great past of early medieval Irish art like the Book of Kells or the Tara Brooch. At times these rugs combined both these sensibilities to produce one of the more distinctive antique carpets of this period.

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View our current selection of Irish antique Donegal rugs below:

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