Antique 17th Century Persian Esfahan Rug 8034 is the Smallest Esfahan Rug in Existence
This is almost surely the smallest Esfahan style rug in existence. And the only one of any size with a round medallion. A flame edged blue rounded enclosing 8 forked arabesques, has been set over a red field with in and out palmettes and scrolling vines (islimi). The deep indigo border displays ensuite palmettes and floral sprays influenced by Kerman 17th Century “rare” carpet borders.
The ochre and red minors display distinct variants of the ever popular rosette and diagonal leaf motif. These are displayed distinct in the gild. Oddly, the medallion, on this Persian rug, is slightly offset toward one end. Clearly the weaver was not working from a knot-for-knot scale paper fractional which would have perfectly placed each element.
In no other “Esfahan” rug or carpet, of any size, does a medallion, always rare, so dominate the field. The flame edging is seen on Lahore, Indian, carpets of two early 17th century, on medallion Oushak’s from the late 16th to the mid 18th centuries and, of course, on many classical Persian medallion carpets.
Here it is probably not diagnostic of origin. The Kerman influenced border may point toward a Persian, Esfahan source, however. See our discussion of 44143 for a brief further consideration regarding the origin of the type.
Antique rug 8034 is cute, in the best sense of the word and certainly eminently collectible. Most Esfahan smaller rugs are badly worn, but the condition here is very good with only tiny, easily improved repairs.
As with this type generally, the foundation is all cotton and cotton appears in the pile is a crisp short accent instead of the usual ivory wool. The pile is clipped short and the design is well rendered. A light green in the border is an additional sensual touch.
Read about a fascinating study of the exceptionally long 17th Century Persian Esfahan Rug