Vintage persian rugs bring the aesthetic and cultural ideals of an entire culture into any interior environment. These rugs are among the world’s most important art objects. This is why the top taste makers and decorators incorporate them into their work. These rugs are not only beautiful, but they provide the perfect combination of old world tradition with contemporary style and design.
The art of designing a fine rug in the past was a tribal craft that was passed down through generations. Weavers would learn the art from their elders, and then they wove the patterns that they had learned. Often the designs would have symbols that had pretty profound meanings. This would allow the weaving to be a part of a person’s spirituality and a way of communicating with God.
Some weavers were exceptional and were considered masters by the others in their tribe or city. This is why many of the very best 19th century Persian rugs are considered important collectors items today. These were crafted by master weavers who designed with a personal identity that superseded group identity. Their designs and color dye recipes were guarded as precious tribal secrets. This is why these rugs have a luminous quality that gives them such a dynamic visual presence.
As the decorative rug market in the West grew, the quality of materials and weaving deteriorated significantly. As a result, primary cultures began to lose their self defining attributes and originality was replaced with a slavish adherence to modern western design trends. Weavers also started to use harsh chemical dyes that were not as subtle in appearance.
The best and earliest antique Persian rugs from the mid to late 1800’s stand out from this trend. The finest examples display fluid, subtly varied, and exotic designs. The use of nuanced color is superb and achieves exquisite harmony and balance. In fact, the earliest pieces of this period have been consistently selling for what was only a few years ago unfathomable amounts.
Some of the most beautiful and rare rugs were produced by master weavers like Mohtashem and Hajji Jalili. They had a unique ability to translate the painting styles of the time into the weaving process. Their works are noted for their color combinations that appealed to Victorian sensibilities, and their softer colors than other Persian rugs of this period. Often these rugs were created in room size and oversize formats and were made to serve as heirlooms and family heirlooms that would be passed down from one generation to the next. These are some of the most sought after rugs in the antique rug market today.