Persian Rugs Part 1
Weaving region: Iran
Categories produced: masterworkshop, workshop, village, and nomadic
For many people, the terms ‘Persian Rug’ and ‘Oriental Rug’ are the same.
Persia is seen as the spiritual, if not actual, home of rug-making and its name has become synonymous with some of the finest and most outstanding achievements in oriental textile art.
Much of this is due to the magnificent Court carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries which grace Western museums, and the 18th and 19th century masterpieces to be found in royal palaces and stately homes throughout the world.
Yet these intricate and highly sophisticated masterworks are only a part of a rug-making tradition that encompasses the entire spectrum of the weaver’s art.
Persia is exceptional in the number and variety of weaving groups.
No other country can boast the same range of masterworkshop, workshop, village, and nomadic rugs, and none even come close to the diversity of Persian design.
It is therefore hardly surprising that Persian compositions have not only been reproduced in countless machine-made carpets in the West, but also emulated by most other rug-producing countries in the East. Today most oriental rugs- whether from Pakistan, India, or the Balkans- are based on Persian designs, and even China, with its own ancient and unique heritage, is now producing rugs with Persian schemes.
Pahlavi Rugs- Special mention must be made of these masterworkshop and workshop items made in a handful of weaving centers from the 1930’s onwards, and generally considered to be among the most technically accomplished rugs ever made.
When the late Shah’s father came to power in 1924, he began a program of sponsorship aimed at elevating the Persian rug industry to levels not seen since the Golden Age in the 16th and 17th centuries. The term Pahlavi should only be applied to items made under royal commission, but in practice it is used for any rug made from these weaving centers produced in Pahlavi style.