Monday, April 21, 2014

Artz in the Carpet Market


Persian Rugs are an essential part of Persian art and culture. There are three groups of carpet. Qali or Farsh, which means "to spread" and is any carpet over 6x4, Qalicheh, meaning "small rug", is anything under 6x4 and Gelim, "rough carpet" which are also called Nomadic rugs.

The art of carpet weaving has existed in Persia for centuries. One of the oldest known rugs dates back to 500 B.C. Ancient Chinese texts from the Sassanid period speak of the carpets from Persia.

Cotton, wool and silk were used to weave the rugs. The finer the wool, the more expensive the carpet and so sheep were specially bred for the texture and strength of their wool. Because these carpets were made from natural fibers they could not withstand the onslaught of time and have disintegrated. Fortunately painters in the 14 century included Persian carpets in their paintings and from them we have an excellent description of what the carpets actually looked like.
                                       Triptych of the Enthroned Madonna Hans Memling
                  Carpet in the Azerbaijan Museum. This carpet is dated late 14th century.

                                     Notice the similar pattern in the Hans Memling painting

There is a famous Persian rug in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London called the Ardabil Rug. It is one of two rugs. The carpet was woven during the 16th century and placed in a Mosque in Ardabil. The foundation of the carpet is silk with the pile made of wool and consisting of 300 - 350 knots per inch. The carpet measures 341/2 x 171/2 feet; which means there are about 26 million knots making up the rug, all by hand. In 1890 it was purchased by British carpet broker who repaired it and then sold it the museum. The other Ardabil Rug ended up in the hands of J. Paul Getty who donated it to Exposition Park in Los Angeles. These rugs have been copied many times and have ended up on the floors of places like 10 Downing Street, and the office of Hitler in Berlin.

The weaver, like any artist, signed his art and both of the Ardabil Rugs bear this inscription.
I have no refuge in the world other than thy threshold.
There is no protection for my head other than this door.

The work of the slave of the threshold Maqsud of Kashan in the year 946.

This week we present the Artz in the Carpet Market.

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