Northwest Persian long rug

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Runners & Gallery Rugs



Being sold on behalf of Peter H. Tillou



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This exceptional Northwest Persian gallery carpet dynamically draws a field design of alternating rows and columns of palmettes of the so-called ‘harshang’ or ‘crab’ type. The large scale of these devices, their full and rounded contours and their sequencing strongly resemble earlier Caucasian articulation of the 17th and century within a group known as ‘ blossom Kuba carpets’. Northwest Persia and the Caucasus have a long and very interconnected history, the later being part of the Persian empire until the early 19th century when most of the area was ceded to the Russians after the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813. Classical Caucasian carpets of the 17th century, may thus be seen as a local rendition of Safavid Persian design and there is evidence that the Blossom carpets of the region were woven under direct patronage of the Safafvid court.
The faithfulness of design exemplified by this piece speaks to its age as well as the commonality of tradition before the Russian conquest of the northern part of what was then the Persian region of Azerbaijan with the southern portion that remained a part of Qajar Persia. The soft, rich and varied color palette seen here, however, is characteristic of what would come to be known as early ‘post-classical’ Northwest Persian weaving of the 18th century and slightly later and it is more than likely that this piece was woven on what remains the Persian side of the border. The color here is truly fantastic. Indeed, in just considering the aubergine purple, two distinct tones are used; one derived from a single source, probably madder root, and the second formulated from a double dyeing of indigo with a red.