Mashad signed by Shisgalani, circa 1950
12'2" x 9'7"
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Sizes are approximate. Photographs are not necessarily exact for color.
New Rugs Are Of The Highest Quality In Its Category And Are Handpicked Overseas By The Bashir Family
The city of Mashhad has long been one of the centres for production of famous Persian carpets. It is also one of the oldest centres of carpet weaving. The city is the capital of the province of Khorassan in north east Iran and it is located almost 900 kilometers to the north east of Tehran. Carpet manufacturing is extensive in Mashhad. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Khorasan was one of the leading centers of weaving in Persia-- with carpets produced in workshops and villages throughout the province. After a period of decline at the beginning of the century, dealers from Tabriz (city in Iran) established a number of factories in the city and brought in weavers to work there. Since the local dealers used the Persian knot and the new weavers introduced the Turkish knot to the region, you can find both knot techniques in Mashad carpets. As an unusual practice, few rugs were woven and the city became known for its large and oversized carpets. Well-proportioned central medallion designs were very popular and were valued for their elegant curves and intricate arabesques.
Most production today continues to be of large carpets with curvilinear designs and are also sold under the name Meshed. The wool from Khorasan is recognized by its softness. Their color schemes are usually tones of red or blue. These carpets are usually bright and cleverly colored therefore literally giving life to any dull room. Their foundations are mostly cotton. They are very well made and last a very long time. The United States enacted an embargo on all Iranian made products between 1986 and 1999. This included Iranian made Persian rugs. Washington had banned Persian carpets as part of sanctions against Iran in the past, but a goodwill gesture by the Clinton Administration in 2000 allowed imports of Iranian rugs. The rug loophole was closed however in September 2010. Unlike previous embargoes, which caused a lot of rug sellers to smuggle the rugs through Canada, the latest embargo of 2010 is being thoroughly enforced my US and Canadian customs thus making Mashhad carpets a very rare and much sought after Persian rug. To learn more about iranian rugs, visit our Persian Rugs section.
Sources and inspiration: Bérinstain, Valérie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Mengès, 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.
Older carpets (antique or vintage) are rugs that date back to the last 100 years. Rugs that are 50 to 99 years of age are referred to as semi-antiques.
They are typically crafted with hand-spun wool and eco-friendly organic dyes, which have a luminous surface, providing an illusion of depth. They have a wonderful patina and character which cannot be usually captured in a newer piece. Each antique carpet is different, as they are found in every type of home and add warmth to 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. At the time, the native cultural designs began to lose their authenticity because their ability to maintain traditional designs diminished. As the Industrial Revolution came about, preserving traditional master craft techniques became more of a challenge.
- Antique rugs are made of natural fibers such as, wool, cotton and silk. New rugs are made from a variety of fibers including synthetic and natural fibers such as, mercerized cotton, faux silk often called "Art Silk", silk blends and artificial fibers such as, olefin.
- If the rug has signs of wear but still appears to be vibrant, this is an indication of a genuine antique carpet.
- For insurance purposes, you should always obtain a Certificate of Authenticity from the dealer, which should include the size, origin, age, style, materials, knot density, condition and estimated retail value.
- An authentic Oriental rug will not have a brand name associated with it and it will not be hand-tufted.
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