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A Comprehensive Guide to Antique Persian Rugs

Persian Rugs Guide and Articles - Antique Persian rugs represent a unique and singular development in the world of art and antique rugs. A centuries old tradition, rug making is an important aspect of Persian culture and history.

Some of the most remarkable antique Oriental rugs ever woven were designed and produced in Persia (modern day Iran), from the elaborate and stately carpets of Sultanabad, to the geometric and abstract tribal carpets of Heriz. Below, find a comprehensive selection of educational articles about antique Persian rugs, provided for your education.

1. Persian City Rugs Vs. Persian Village Tribal Rugs

Persian City Rugs Vs. Persian Village Tribal Rugs

The history of Persian rugs is as colorful as the rugs themselves. Persian rugs started out as items of comfort and necessity in homes. Over time, weaving techniques evolved and the rugs themselves became beautiful works of art that represented affluence and the upper classes. As individual weavers became more skilled, the demand for their rugs rose and they even began signing their work making their Persian City Rugs even more valuable... [Read More: Persian City Rugs Vs. Persian Village Tribal Rugs]

2. Nomadic and Tribal Persian Rugs

Nomadic and Tribal Persian Rugs

The distinguishing feature of nomadic or tribal Persian rugs is the fact that these rugs were produced by various groups of people whose entire lifestyle depended on their relationship with their livestock such as goats and sheep. These domesticated animals found their way into the various patterns of the rugs that were designed and produced. These nomadic people had to constantly travel so that their herds could continue to find land suitable for grazing. Similar to village rugs, tribal rugs can also embrace geometric designs. Utilizing what was available, these rugs tend to be made entirely from wool... [Read More: Nomadic and Tribal Persian Rugs]

3. Persian Rug Designs and Patterns

Persian Rug Designs and Patterns

Persian rug designs include a remarkably varied range of patterns and taste depending on the nature and locale of production. These tend to fall into two main categories – urban or city rugs whose designs are rooted in the classical traditions of the Safavid period... [Read More: Persian Rug Designs and Patterns]

4. Antique Classic Traditional Persian Rugs

Antique Classic Traditional Persian Rugs

There is nothing that can rival the beauty of a classic traditional Persian rug. The incredible detail and expert craftsmanship showcase the rich history of the ancient Persian Empire. The designs themselves flow across the rugs and draw your eye to the complex motif and bold colors. Many of the master weavers worked entirely from memory making their rugs a valuable record of family or tribal traditions. Often the patterns themselves seem to extend beyond the borders of the rug and go on into infinity itself... [Read More: Antique Classic Traditional Persian Rugs]

5. Kerman Rugs in Interior Settings

Kerman Rugs Interiors

Some of the most valuable and sought after Persian rugs are the Kerman style rugs. These incredibly detailed and beautiful classic rugs have been prized since the 17th century for their rich colors and overall quality. Traditionally, Kerman rugs feature reds and blues with variations. The pattern can include a classic central medallion or an overall geometric design with elegant floral elements. Kerman rugs are perfect for an interior setting and fit in easily with any design motif... [Read More: Kerman Rugs in Interior Settings]

6. Compare Antique Kerman Rugs to Antique Kashan Rugs from Persia

Compare Kerman Rugs to Kashan Rugs

Geographically, Kerman and Kashan are somewhat closely located. Their rugs also seem to be very similar. However, there are subtle differences that become apparent when you compare them. Typically, Kashan rugs tend to be less detailed in design and less densely woven than Kirman Rugs. Another difference is the European influence found in Kirman rugs with their representation of various types of flowers. A final difference can be found in the different shades of red used in both rug types. Kirman reds are a deeper cranberry color with more uniformity. Kashan rugs tend to use a brighter bolder red. [ Read More: Compare Antique Kerman Rugs to Antique Kashan Rugs from Persia ]

7. Antique Kashan Rugs and Carpets from Persia - Guide and History

Antique Kashan Rugs from Persia

Kashan has been known throughout history for its silks, textiles, decorative ceramic tiles, and for its beautiful antique Persian rugs. The two major periods of carpet production were the 16th and 17th century, and the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This second period is when the rugs were produced mainly for export and for the wealthier upper class. The motifs tend to feature a central medallion surrounded by rich forals and detailed double bands with bright colors of reds, blues, and ivory. Usually made from wool, Kashan rugs tend to have a high knot count and are some of the most densely woven rugs available. [Read More: Antique Kashan Rugs and Carpets from Persia - Guide and History]

8. Antique Persian Heriz Serapi Rugs

Collection of Heriz Serapi Rugs

While Persian rug weaving goes back over 1,000 years, Heriz and Serapi rug history is fairly recent. These rug types were developed to meet the increasing demand for exports to Europe and Britain in the 19th century. Villagers used traditional patterns and adapted them to create their own designs. Foreign management firms recognized the demand for Persian rugs, came in and standardized carpet designs. The sizes of the rugs changed to meet foreign demand and the colors changed to include black, ivory, green, and sky blue to the traditional reds and blues. [Read More: Antique Persian Heriz Serapi Rugs]

9. Embargo on Persian Rugs

Antique Tabriz Carpets

As international tensions have grown between Iran, Russia, China, the US and other US allies, imports of Persian rugs and carpets have become more difficult. The vast majority of the antique rugs owned and traded currently were acquired before relations between these countries broke down. Given the limited supply of rugs available, prices are expected to continue to increase as demand remains constant and even tends to increase as more people are appreciating the beauty and incredible artistry involved in Persian rugs and carpets. [Read More: Embargo on Persian Rugs]

10. Learn About Antique Baluch Rugs and Carpets

Antique Baluch Persian Carpets

The tribes of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan are the creators of the Baluch rugs and carpets. These types of rugs tend to be made of darker colors with a limited use of white and creams. The loose weave and soft wool used make these rugs more fragile. For these reasons these rugs have never been considered to be a valuable as other antique Persian rugs. Unfortunately many of these antiques have been subject to overuse, abuse, and have been destroyed. Currently there are more and more collectors who appreciate the intrinsic beauty of antique Baluch rugs. [Read More: Learn About Antique Baluch Rugs and Carpets]

11. Antique Persian Farahan Rugs

Guide to Antique Sarouk Rugs

Antique Persian Sarouk Farahan Rugs are named after a village in Persia which is located about twenty miles north of the city / region known as Arak (formerly Sultanabad). From around the late 19th to about the early 20th century, Sarouk wove some of the more recognizable and sought after antique Persian rugs. [Read More: Antique Persian Farahan Rugs]

12. Antique Iranian Rugs and Carpet Collection

Iranian Rugs and Carpets

The term "Iranian Rug" means more than just the origin of where a rug was woven. Many Iranian carpets are considered to be the "gold standard" of rug weaving. Iran is known for producing some of the finest and best quality rugs available anywhere.   [Read More: Antique Iranian Rugs and Carpet Collection]

13. Antique Persian Sultanabad Rugs

Sultanabad Persian Rug Style

An antique rug really draws focus to a room and adds a sense of history to your living space. So, whether you're decking out that old-world meets modern-day chic apartment or going for that full-blown antique roadshow look, an antique rug will send your apartment straight towards the fashion highway of home decor. [Read More: Antique Persian Sultanabad Rugs]

14. Nazmiyal Acquires Sigmund Freud Sultanabad Rug

Nazmiyal Acquires Sigmund Freud Sultanabad Rug

Sigmund Freud owned a beautiful 19th century Zeigler Sultanabad rug and displayed it in his dining room at his home in London. When he fled the Nazi occupation he took his most prized possessions with him, including this rug. Jason Nazmiyal, the owner of the Nazmiyal Collection in New York City was able to purchase this iconic rug and add it to their collection of rare and historically valuable rugs. [Read More: Nazmiyal Acquires Sigmund Freud Sultanabad Rug]

15. A History of Persian Abadeh Rugs and Carpets

A History of Abadeh Rugs

Abadeh is located in southern Iran. The carpets that come out of this region feature a beautiful color palate that includes reds, terracottas, blues, greens, and ivory. The design itself can include either a diamond or clover shaped medallion in the center. These rugs are culturally valuable and highly desired by collectors as they are a perfect example of the finest pieces of Persian rugs. [Read More: A History of Persian Abadeh Rugs and Carpets]

16. Hunting Scene Rugs and Carpets

Hunting Scene Rugs and Carpets

Hunting scenes were displayed as subjects on Persian rugs as early as the 16th century. This should come as no surprise as hunting was both a popular princely sport and a daily way of life in the Persian culture. While most hunting scene rugs do not represent a specific person or region, some hunting scene rugs were commissioned by royalty and nobility. [Read More: Hunting Scene Rugs and Carpets]

17. Long 17th Century Esfahan Rugs

17th Century Esfahan Rugs

The classic long 17th century Esfahan rug from central Iran features a common red center with a variety of side-view palmettes, rosettes, arabesques, and full and partial cloud-bands. The border is a midnight blue with a similar pattern in a larger size. While these are the same patterns for hundreds of long 17th century rugs, each one is individual and distinctly unique. [Read More: Long 17th Century Esfahan Rugs]

18. Small 17th Century Esfahan Rug

Small 17th Century Esfahan Rug

The smallest complete 17th Century Esfahan rug known to be in existence, this beautiful early Persian piece has a round medallion in an indigo blue with 8 forked arabesques. Surrounded by an ochre and red field with rosette and diagonal leaf pattern, the rare medallion is not perfectly centered on the rug, but offset slightly to one end. This "imperfection" makes this rug truly unique and a rare collectors item. [Read More: Small 17th Century Esfahan Rug]

19. Rare Antique Persian 17th Century Khorassan Long Rug

17th Century Khorassan Rug

This is an unusually narrow example of a classic Cartouche and tree rug. Bold design, bright colors, and a semi-geometric pattern identify this rare 17th century rug as an example of a Khorassan antique Persian rug. While this antique does show a few worn spots, it is complete and a beautiful collectors item. [Read More: 17th Century Khorassan]

20. Antique 17th Century Persian Silk Polonaise Rug

Antique 17th Century Persian Silk Polonaise Rug

Polonaise rugs were first woven in the late 16th century as gifts from the Shah Abbas to visiting European diplomats. However, by the 17th century these rugs were a popular luxury export item with their silk and metal threads giving the rug an overall shiny coruscating effect. These types of rugs were made with an astonishing 200 to 1000 knots per square inch. [Read More: Antique 17th Century Persian Silk Polonaise Rug]