Antique carpets and rugs have caught the eyes of collectors from all over the world. They are known to be representative of the history of the region where they were made and reflect the art as well as the political, economic or social situations of the community. The designs tell the story of ancient civilizations and of the culture of a specific region or area.
Many known figures in history have been known to be rug collectors – these carpets are used to add beauty to homes and palaces, and today are seen as beautiful pieces of art. Henry VIII was known to have owned several hundred pieces of Turkish rugs – some of them even made an appearance in his portraits by Hans Holbein. Cornelius Vanderbilt and Sigmund Freud were both known collectors of Persian rugs, the latter also known to drape one over his couch where he met his clients.
Persian rugs are arguably the most influential rugs in history. They are also known to have the most intricate designs, the best quality from excellent materials. Many antique Persian rugs showcase sophisticated designs that only show how skilled the rug weavers are who made them. They are the most popular mode of artistic expression in the history of Iran.
The rugs become more unique over time as the art is passed down through generations. For many Persian families, carpet weaving became their trade and each member took part in the production. Motifs are typically geometric patterns and floral designs with other intriguing elements such as vines, animals, combat scenes and mounted hunters. Predominant colors include hues of red and deep blues and greens that are typically from natural dyes.
Caucasian rugs date back to thousands of years and are also considered to be one of the most popular rugs in history. They are known for their harmonic tribal designs that were inspired by native culture of the times. The rugs feature soft threads that are intertwined in the geometric patterns and use the latch hook method with a single knot. Caucasian rugs are generally small in size, and prayer rugs were very common.
Daghestan rugs are one of the most popular of the Caucasians rugs. Some feature mosaic motifs and are known for their beauty and intricate integration of diamonds, crosses and other small figures into the shape and style of the rug. Pre- 1920 rugs are more valuable because they are usually of higher quality.
Other Popular Antique Rugs
Some distinct rug weaving took place during the reign of the Safavid Dynasty. Although the dynast only lasted a few years, there were some beautifully designed carpets produced during this time. These rugs became a highly sophisticated art form in the urban city centers with designs that show off articles from Islamic art and arabesque patterns that flowed effortlessly. A central medallion is typically featured as the cornerstone of the rugs with a landscape of natural elements.
Indian carpet is also a popular name in antique rug, especially the ones that were made during the Great Mogul Dynasty when artistic displays were predominant. The carpets used natural tones of red and green against ivory or white and featured the ‘Pashmina” wool, which was very soft and rich and was popular among the nobles.
Antique Egyptian rugs also had a very distinct style and technique. Artwork has been discovered showing that rugs were produced during the era of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC. Even ancient tombs show drawings of women weaving threads to make carpets that resemble Oriental rugs. And even though it is unclear exactly when rug weaving started in Egypt, it has been established that it started before the Middle Kingdom.
Turkey, Spain, China, Great Britain and Portugal have also impacted the rug making industry and each has its own distinct designs, patterns and colors.
If you fancy getting an antique rug for your home, contact us at Sharafi & Co and we’d love to help you.