Tag: rug

Oriental Influence on European Rugs

Antique rugs were once new production. About 80 – 90 years ago, carpets from the orient were sold at extremely high prices throughout Europe. European manufacturers saw the need to produce such products at lower costs, causing a sweep of production through Europe in places such as Donegal and Axminster.
This is the reason that some Donegal rugs can be found with Turkish Oushak patterns. While the need to produce a product for cheaper dominated the “where” of the production, there was still a desire for the cultural feel of an oriental rug. On top of being less expensive to make, there was also more control over how the product was made.

Antique Carpets of China: NingXia

The Western Chinese province of NingXia has a mostly Muslim population and is the source of many of the oldest Chinese carpets of the modern era (Ming Dynasty and later).

 

The designs are typically Chinese: fretwork or Greek key borders, paeony palmettes, bats, butterflies, Fu Dogs, clouds, dragons, shou symbols, etc.  Pillar carpets designed to wrap around monastery columns and displaying a dragon above waves are a specialty.

The weave is course and soft, with several wefts between knot rows, and a longish pile.  Yellow golds, dark and light blues are common colors.  The outermost plain border on pre-1800 examples is a corrosive brown.  Formats include large square “throne” carpets, parallel meditation runners, chair seats, and scalloped backs.

to view these rugs on our website, please use the following links:

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Ningxia/18355

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Ningxia/19168

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Ningxia/40-503

 

 

Rug of the Week Carpet #21055

21055.jpg
Persian Rug #21055, size 18’0″ x 10’10”

Antique Northeast Persian Carpet

Khorassan Province

Later 18th Century

Khorassan was a truly enormous Persian province, once extending all the way to the Oxus River, bordering on  true Central Asia. Even After the eastern parts were lost in the Afghan invasion after 1722, the province still encompassed vast areas of desert and steppe with important cities like Meshed and productive farmland. Carpet weaving in the area goes back centuries with Herat, the old capital and now in Afghanistan, famous in the 16th century for its fine rugs. Our antique Persian carpet is not from Herat, but was probably woven in the area around Qain (the Qainat) or more likely in the town itself as it has, as we shall see, all the marks of an urban production of the period.

After the fall of the Persian Safavid ruling dynasty in 1722, there was a decided fall off in patronage as the nation descended into invasions and disorder.  As a result, the remaining carpet workshops cut costs to survive and this meant, among other things, the elaborate medallion designs and the designers who conceived them were replaced by repeating patterns derived from textiles which could be easily and elegantly executed in pieces of any size or format. Thus appeared the now iconically Persian Herati, Gol Hennai, Mina Khani and Boteh patterns. Our design is a particularly felicitous variant on the Gol Hennai pattern.  A primary diamond lattice is formed by a repeat of four cypresses or leaves framing a large rosette and smaller rosette bosses uniting the cypresses. A thinner, secondary lozenge lattice connects the cypresses and large rosettes. This pattern is found in both northeast and northwest Persian rugs, runner and large carpets.  As to where it originated, that is unsure, but by the early 19th century it was in use both in Khorassan and in Azerbaijan in early antique Heriz carpets. In both areas light grounds, ivory as here, were the preferred overall tonalities.

The red-orange main border with in and out main palmettes, sickle leaves and smaller rosettes, all linked by double angular vines seems to appear about the same time as the field pattern, and the navy blue connected “S” guards are frequent accompaniments in both weaving areas. In sum, our 21055 is a perfect embodiment of a period style. Khorassan would thus seem to be the place of origin for the field /border design combination around 1750 or so.

The size and perfection of execution as indicated by the pattern balance in all directions implies an experienced and highly professional workshop working for discerning patrons who expected an artistically and technically superior product. Although many Persian carpets of the period are long and narrow, there are certainly exceptions and 21055 clearly predates the period of Western export demand.

The foundation is all cotton and the woolen pile is tied with the Khorassan version of the jufti knot (on four warps rather than two), giving a lighter handle than usual. In a culture where only unshod feet touch a carpet, this still gives plenty of wearability. Our piece is in good condition for its age and proper care will give it many more years of attractive appearance. All the colours are from natural sources; indigo for the blue and either madder or cochineal for the reds. Yes, you can make oranges from cochineal.

There are very few carpets of this post-Classic period surviving, especially in this large size and ultra-desirable colour scheme. Our carpet 21055 is a particularly attractive solution of a perennial question: how to cover a large floor area without excess busyness, keeping formality without rigidity and authenticity without making an overt issue of it.

Weavings of Khotan

Located in the southern region of Xinjiang, the innermost of the trio of Silk Road Cities (with Kashagar and Yarkand), Khotan weaves carpets mostly in the 6’0″ x 12’0″ size.

These pieces have mostly recognizable Chinese iconography, borrow some central Asian elements (such as the gul), and are made with brighter colors and distinct wool and handle.

Later examples use synthetic dyes which have been treated to mellow the colors.  Although this later period is not collectible, it is much in demand decoratively.  The geometric designs and, and neutral tones, found in many Khotan rugs makes them a versatile option for modern decor.

 

A few smaller rugs and chair seat pieces (2′ square) are also encountered, as well as the occasional basket design or pictorial piece.

For more information on these rugs, please follow these links to our website:

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Khotan/19222

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Khotan/18996

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Khotan/17703

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Khotan/17414

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Khotan/20046

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Khotan/20047

 

 

 

 

 

Antique Carpets of China: NingXia

The Western Chinese province of NingXia has a mostly Muslim population and is the source of many of the oldest Chinese carpets of the modern era (Ming Dynasty and later).

 

The designs are typically Chinese: fretwork or Greek key borders, paeony palmettes, bats, butterflies, Fu Dogs, clouds, dragons, shou symbols, etc.  Pillar carpets designed to wrap around monastery columns and displaying a dragon above waves are a specialty.

The weave is course and soft, with several wefts between knot rows, and a longish pile.  Yellow golds, dark and light blues are common colors.  The outermost plain border on pre-1800 examples is a corrosive brown.  Formats include large square “throne” carpets, parallel meditation runners, chair seats, and scalloped backs.

to view these rugs on our website, please use the following links:

http://rahmanan.com/inventory/show/18355/

http://rahmanan.com/inventory/show/19168/

http://rahmanan.com/inventory/show/40-503/

 

Rug of the Week

20957
Tekke Ensi Rug #20957, size 5’3″ x 4’0″

Tekke Turkmen Ensi

Middle 19th Century

How can an antique Tekke Ensi be special? There must be a zillion of them (or more). But this not your grandfather’s Tekke Ensi. In fact, this rug is at a whole ‘another level. Take a good look and follow our list of special points. And these are not the only differentiating features. The more you look, the more you see. Our list includes:

  1. The rare extra vertical panels repeating the main border design in the field quarters.
  2. The apparently unique addition of horizontal bands in the same pattern above and below the central crossbar.
  3. The unusual “bulls eye” spandrel panels which are more in the Yomud style than the (very usual) Tekke manner.
  4. The extremely fine weave of around 220 knots per square inch.
  5. The extremely wide jewel tone color palette including pale yellow, burnt apricot, two reds (blood red and warm madder), two cochineals, three blues (including an exceptional midnight), dark brown, dark green, ivory, brown; generally way wider than the usual six color Ensis.
  6. The points on the central three vertical columns in section of the central axis.
  7. Dots edging the stylized flower heads in the border.
  8. The quincunx details in the top border.
  9. The unusual triple lozenge fillers in the “mihrab” between the spandrels.

Probably a whole lot more of subtle details. This rug was not a commercial production, churned out ad seriatim by unrelenting Tekke women weavers. The woman who wove it was a true artist and the patron was someone of taste.  Their identities are obviously lost, but their contribution remains. This rug is a true labour of love.

The Ensi was supposedly used as a door rug on the Turk men round felt tent or yurt. Some examples still retain hanging ropes in the top corners, but our does not, and it is slightly taller than the usual antique examples, Bigger rug, bigger door, bigger tent, more important person. Some local big shot from around Merv just across from the Persian border who wanted the best. The work is exacting, the result truly collectible. There are other antique Tekke ensis, some older, some more archaic in design, but we have yet to find a similar gesamtkunstwerke

Mongolian Weavings

The exact source of carpets termed “Mongolian” is unclear.  Certainly these carpets were woven in the Chinese style, with their fret borders, shou medallions, and other far-eastern motifs.  Mongolian rugs, however, are bolder and simpler, course of weave with a peculiar rough, hairy, pile that does not take dyes the way purely Chinese pieces do.  Traditionally, these rugs were dyed only with organic colors derived from indigo, saffron, sumac, turmeric and pomegranate.

 

The overall look is somehow provincial.  Sizes tend to the square with 10′ x 10′ being especially popular.  All pieces available in the current market seem to be 19th Century.  Few, if any, earlier carpets of this kind are actually preserved, but are represented in illuminated Chinese manuscripts, appearing similar to examples available today.

Most Mongolian rugs have a high percentage of open space, with even the decorative elements often showing the plain ground through their design.  What they lack in finesse compared to Peking, or even NingXia pieces, is however compensated by a direct, unmediated approach with no extraneous elements.

to view these rugs on our website, use the following links:

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Mongolian/21019

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Mongolian/19586

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Mongolian/19586

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Chinese%20-%20Mongolian/19655