Antique Persian Mohtashem Kashan Rugs – Antique Rugs By Mohtashem From Kashan – Ustad Mohtashem is one of the most revered weavers of Kashan. His rugs are some of the highest quality Persian weaving. The town of Kashan located in central Iran between Isfahan and Tehran is often referred to as the greatest weaving center in western Persia.
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Since the 3rd quarter of the 19th century and for about 30 years, the finest and most delicate rugs of wool and silk were woven by arguably the most respected ustadan (master weaver), Zufilkhar Ed Din Mohtashem.
These rugs are noted for their use of purple and ruby red silk bindings for the selvedges. They are characterized by a particular style, color and use of imported merino wool. Whether signed or unsigned, antique Mohtashem Kashan rugs are considered the crème de la crème of all antique Kashan rugs.
In modern times, the Mohtasham name is well known, but very little is known about his origins. It remained a mystery whether or not Mohtasham was simply a trade name, or whether he had actually existed.
There is a legend going around according to which Hadji Mollah Mohammad Hassan Mohtasham of Kashan was a well-to-do businessman, famous for his textiles. However, in the 1880’s business was bad owing to the importing of machine-worked textiles from Europe.
The story goes that Mohtasham had married a young woman from Sultanabad, who had brought with her from her city of origin the ancient tradition of the knotted carpet.
In view of the fact that business did not seem to be picking up, his wife wove a carpet using merino wool imported from Manchester. Upon completion of the carpet, local merchants were so enthusiastic that they commissioned more similar ones.
This drove Mohtasham not only to ask his wife to start weaving again, but also to train other weavers of Kashan to produce carpets using this model.
Thus, according to the legend of the bazaar, the art of the carpet began again; it had been lost in Kashan since the fall of the Safavid dynasty in 1723. This sparked a revival of the art of the carpet in Kashan; in 1890 there were only three operating looms, and that these became one thousand five hundred in 1900 and four thousand in 1949.
This specific Mohtasham carpet exemplifies how art can influence the onlooker. To appreciate such a great work of art, no great knowledge is needed; all one needs to enjoy this carpet is mere observation and attention to detail. This Mohtasham, woven with high quality kourk wool and an extremely fine weave, is unusual with its all-over design of delicate scrolling floral vines and palmettes in soft blues and ivory colors.
The combination of the colors used coupled with the exceptional condition and the fact that Mohtasham rugs are never found in runner sizes make this a truly rare and magnificent work of art.
What did you imagine as you read that just now? No doubt it was an elegant and refined weaving graced with curvilinear flora that winds its way through and around a commanding medallion. A rug that draws dropped jaws from anyone that beholds its magnificence.
A sea of swirling ruby tones, indigos, sapphires — a rug as bejeweled and becoming as a sultans own palace. The image may seem fantastic, but in truth antique Kashan rugs boast just these types of elements. Rugs from Kashan are some of the finest rugs to emerge from the major Persian weaving centers of old and are synonymous with the quality one would expect from an antique Persian rug.
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View our current collection of Persian antique Mohtashem Kashan rugs below: