Western Persia, Greater Hamadan Weaving Area.
Provenance: Ex-Collection Colonial Williams burg.
Yellow, whether as old gold, mustard, canary or straw, is probably the rarest and most difficult natural dye color found in oriental rugs.
Mostly as an accent, but a number of Kurdish runners employ it as a field tone. But a huge carpet in a rich, saturated mustard gold is, well, let us say, uncommon, rare, and excessively rare.
The dye is either weld or pomegranate rind and an experienced, professional urban dye-master was certainly involved.
The rug, both considering its size and rare color palette could only have been woven as a special order it has been special ever since. Certainly it was special enough to grace a period room at Colonial Williams burg.
The pattern was woven inverted to make the placement of the individual floral motives easier. The allover flowering plant design was adapted from Persian silk brocade textiles of the early 19th century.
The navy main border has a stylized diagonal iris and square rosette design, the so-called “Zanbaki” patter, popular in Persian village rugs from the Bijar and Heriz areas since the second half of the 19th century.
The foundation is all cotton, with a single weft between symmetric knot rows. The condition is excellent throughout. This carpet is all about color. Absolutely about color. It is the very antithesis of certain contemporary design trends which eschew saturated and embrace the attenuated. This carpet is ahead of trends or maybe trends are simply irrelevant to it.
Speaking of trends, can we profitably discern any in the antique carpet market? Mediocre is out, probably forever. A hand knotted carpet of real age has to say something. In 2016, the uptake of genuine pieces seems to have reached a low ebb. Color was out, artistic statements were ignored. But in 2017 something unexpected seems to have started. Buyers have begun asking, at least sometimes, for REAL carpets. Pattern may be coming back and genuine color(s), not washed out ones, are being looked at. Opulence should follow.
In any event, our no. 19342 fits the bill. Sure, it will compete with wall candy or designer furniture. But real art never clashes. It only makes the good things better, and exposes the poseur objects for the pretentious fakes they are. If this carpet fits your loft, try it out. It may give you a whole new way of seeing color.