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Persian Rugs: Historical Art Alive Today

Some of the finest oriental rugs and carpets ever created are from Persia, where the inspiration and artistic spirit of the Persians are shown in the tremendous variety of design, colour, size and weave. These carpets have an amazing level of quality in both antique carpets and in current production.

It is estimated that rugs with the same amazing level of quality were made in Persia 2,500 years ago. Many historical experts believe that the medallion designs stem from the very religious nature of the weavers and that their inspiration comes from the artwork and patterns of domes of their mosques. In terms of design, colour and their artistic beauty, Persian rugs span the widest possible range.

Superb oriental carpets and rugs were created for the courts, often using floral designs, inspired by the Persian gardens and a Muslim’s idea of paradise as a garden. Examples of these antique oriental rugs survive today in many museums.

After a decline in production around the 18th and early 19th centuries, the industry revived in the 1860s, and most of the decorative Persian carpets and silk rugs seen today were made after this date.

As well as court carpets made at trade workshops, many were made by tribal groups, with designs and weavings identifiable of the specific village or tribe. These often bear vivid designs, which have symbolic meanings and representations. These tribal weavings are keenly collected today.

Kashan Persian rugs are a well-known type of rug, which take their name from the city of Kashan in north-west Iran. There was production of Persian carpet at Royal workshops in the 17th and early 18th century. Kashan was a major center in the garment trade. In Kashan the weaving art is ancient and still widespread.

In Kashan most of the weaving is still done at home as opposed to workshops. Antique Kashan Persian rugs are much admired by collectors, who often regard them as among the best in the world.
The Ardabil carpet at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the finest examples of a Persian rug in the world. It was originally kept at a shrine in Ardabil, north-west Iran.

The shrine was built to honour Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334, and from whom the Savafi dynasty descended. It was this dynasty that brought about Iran’s unification and renaissance in art and culture. In the shrine there were two similar rugs. The other one is now in the USA. Both rugs were sold to fund reconstruction following a catastrophic earthquake.

These days, top antique Persian rugs are sold more like works of art than pieces of décor. They will bring you pleasure in the same way that any other work of art will.

Fine Persian Rugs require special care.  At Sharafi & Co we have years of experience cleaning oriental rugs. Qualified oriental rug cleaners will provide a complex service to make sure that their beauty, originality, rich colours and value are maintained.

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