Vintage Persian rugs are more than just decorative pieces. They represent a precious skill set that has been passed down from generations and woven into the fabric of modern Iranian culture. The intricate patterns, vibrant hues and evocative designs have been used for centuries to enhance living spaces with exotic, old world charm. As such, many of today’s leading interior designers and taste makers incorporate them into their projects.
These rare works of art have the unique ability to transport us back in time to a place of beauty and splendor. They are prized for their flawless proportions, effortless fluidity and ageless style. They are also known for blending classical principles with more tribal, nomadic influences.
While not possessing the artistic virtuosity, design fluidity and color nuance of Level 3 high-collectible rugs, these antique beauties still evoke the highest levels of craftsmanship and materials in their respective city, village and tribal weaving groups. They are one-of-a-kind antique art rugs that masterfully combine the enduring beauty of time-seasoned natural dyes with ingenious renditions of traditional patterns.
During this period, the weavers of these fine rugs were free from market influence and able to weave with unfettered creativity. They produced a remarkable array of exquisite floral and geometric motifs that ranged from highly stylized and symmetrical arabesques to bold and vibrantly detailed southwestern tribal kilims. Whether they were created in the cities of Kashan, Heriz or Ferahan, this period represents the second golden age of Persian rug weaving.
In addition to achieving superb aesthetic balance and harmony in their creations, these master weavers were also able to utilize a wide variety of natural dyes that were derived from berries, insects, minerals and seeds, all of which were carefully guarded as sacred tribal secrets. These natural pigments served to create lustrous, animated carpets with vivid color depth.
The renowned Persian weaver Ustad Zufilkhar ed Din Mohtashem, for example, created a series of carpets that appealed to the Victorian sensibilities with their sophisticated color palettes and motifs. The same can be said for the work of many of the other great weavers of this era including Bahiyeh, Nains, Heriz and others.
Unlike their city-based counterparts, the weavers of these rugs largely hailed from villages and rural areas. Often, the villagers would use a rug to tell a story about their family or tribe. For example, they might weave a boteh, a traditional Persian symbol that represented eternity or flame, into the design to honor their ancestors.
As with the other categories, the quality of these rugs was very high and they were renowned for their mellow color tones, rich patina and exceptional construction. While most of these rugs have had minor repairs, large ones should be avoided as they detract from the rug’s overall value.