Rare Antique Persian 17th Century Khorassan Long Rug

Antique Persian 17th Century Khorassan Long Rug #3289

17th Century Khorassan Antique Persian Rug – This is a particularly narrow, but well colored 17th century example, of a cohesive group of N.E. Persian classical carpets: the Cartouche and tree rug type.

Once attributed to the Caucasus, on the basis of semi-geometric, bold design and bright colors, they are now universally ascribed to Khorossan, possibly Herat, possibly Qain, Birjand or elsewhere, but not to meshed which became active as a rug weaving center only in the late 19th Century for Persian rugs.

Antique Persian 17th Century Khorassan Carpet Nazmiyal
Antique Persian 17th Century Khorassan Carpet

Usually on red grounds, large, leafy trees grow from octofoils around Cartouches. The group seems to be unique, no evolution from earlier types, although a few other tree carpets were known, and no immediate successors with derived designs. The bold color schemes are virtually invariant, but the border may be light blue, green or ivory. Generally the diagonal leaf and quatrefoil rosette is employed.

Antique 17th Century Khorassan Persian Rug Detail Nazmiyal
Antique 17th Century Khorassan Persian Rug Detail

The Metropolitan Museum in NY has a particularly finely colored example, and two restored are in Philadelphia. The Kein Collection, UK, has a very well preserved carpet with a unique ivory border.

Antique Khorassan Persian Rug Green Border Nazmiyal
17th Century Antique Khorassan Persian Rug Detail

The foundation is all cotton with the lowish pile in autumn clipped wool (a Khaossan idiosyncrasy) tied and over 4 warps in the Persian Jufti knot, also a Khorossan innovation. Jufti knotting makes for shorter working time, but also less wool per unit area and consequently less durability. Our example shows spot wear, but is complete.

Antique Khorassan Persian Rug Center Cross Nazmiyal
17th Century Antique Khorassan Persian Rug Detail

The trees are probably Chenarus (oriental plane trees) and somewhat resemble those in the Kurdish garden antique carpets of west Persia. There is no other connection between the two types, however. Our antique rug example is particularly narrow and others have measured up to 10′ x 24′.

The fragility of this type makes 3289 a giant collector rug, rather than a visible floor carpet for an area with any traffic. It is an intact, colorful example of an always desirably rare type.