Tabriz, circa 1910
4'9" x 1'6"
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Sizes Are Approximate. Photos Are Representative And Not Necessarily Exact For Color
New Rugs Are Of The Highest Quality In Its Category And Are Handpicked Overseas By The Bashir Family
Tabriz is a city in north-western Iran which has a major weaving tradition dating to the 15th century. Tabriz is probably the most prolific carpet-producing center in the world, and certainly one of the oldest. This enchanted city was established more than a thousand years ago. After many invasions, occupations and wars, Tabriz took the ancient techniques of the past and created a huge rug-exporting industry.
The finest era of Persian rug weaving was the Safavid Dynasty (1499 - 1722), when the Safavids overthrew the Turks who had occupied Tabriz. They gave the city one of the first Royal workshops, making it the artistic center of Persian culture. It was at this time that weavers from Tabriz introduced the curvilinear designs to the courts at Istanbul.
After a decline of a few hundred years, Tabriz began re-establishing its position in the mid 19th century as the market center for the export of Persian rugs to the West. Today, many rugs produced in Tabriz emulate the artistic heritage of the Persian Safavid carpet, and when a designer in any part of the world wants to commission a certain pattern to be hand-woven, Tabriz is the city that he or she visits. To learn more about iranian rugs, please visit our Persian Rugs section.
Sources and inspiration: B?rinstain, Val?rie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Meng?s, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.
"Antique" refers to carpets at least 100 years old, whereas rugs between 50 and 99 years of age are classified as "semi-antique".
Typically crafted with hand-spun wool and eco-friendly organic dyes, old carpets have a more luminous surface, creating an illusion of depth. Newer pieces are rarely able to capture the patina and character of an antique, which can add warmth to even the most pristine and minimalist spaces.
Oriental & Persian carpet designs began to change at the turn of the 20th century, as Western influence expanded across the Middle East. The authenticity of the unique designs produced by local cultures declined with the introduction of larger-scale production that aimed to accommodate foreign tastes. Preserving the traditional techniques involved in the craft also became more challenging following the effects of the Industrial Revolution.
Antique rugs are made of wool, cotton and silk. New rugs can be made from a variety of fibers, both natural and synthetic, including wool, cotton and silk, but also silk blends, faux silk (often called "Art Silk" or "artificial silk"), mercerized cotton and olefin.
If a rug has signs of wear but still looks vibrant, this is an indication that it is a genuine antique.
For insurance purposes, you should always obtain a certificate of authenticity from the dealer. This document should include the size, origin, age, style, materials, knot density, condition and estimated retail value of the carpet.
An authentic antique will not have a brand name associated with it, nor will it be hand-tufted.