Title: Antique Kashan Rug
Size: 2.04×1.44m / 6’8″x4’9″
Origin: Kashan, Central Iran (Persia).
Technique: Hand-knotted, double weft construction. Circa 323 kpsi.
Material: Wool pile (incredibly lustrous), cotton warps and (blue) wefts.
Colours and Design: Terracotta field, with blue-black medallion and beige border. Floral, medallion design.
Condition/Age: Condition is excellent relative to its age – the wool pile is simply gloriously glossy – a joy to touch! There are some faint traces of foundation visible (see images 6, 7, 8 & 9), minor end loss which has been secured (see image 10), brown wool pile has corroded (see image 8) which is consistent with its age, and the back-sides are strapped to prevent curling under. It is ready for immediate use/display.
It dates from the 1900.
The oasis town of Kashan lies in central Iran between Isfahan and Qum on the edge of the Dasht-i-Kavir desert.
Kashan has a rich heritage in crafts from pottery and tile-work to textiles, rugs and carpets. Indeed, the master-weaver Maksoud of the Ardebil Carpet (AD. 1540) in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) was from Kashan. The Ardebil Carpet represents possibly the most famous surviving article of woven art from the Safavid period (AD. 1502-1722). This golden age was ended by the Afghan invasion of 1722.
The weaving tradition in Kashan was revived towards the end of the nineteenth century; this was in part due to the expansion of international trade and also because of a surplus of wool stocks.
Kashan rugs are woven on a vertical loom with a woollen pile formed by the Persian (or Senneh) knot on a cotton warp and weft. The weft thread is distinctive in that it is (usually) blue in colour. The colour scheme employed is conservative with extensive use of reds and blues. Kashan Rugs are occasionally made with a silk pile hand-knotted onto silk warps – these are a rare type.
In recent decades Kashan has produced white Kashan rugs which are influenced by the colour schemes associated with Nain and Isfahan. The design of Kashan rugs is curvilinear, usually medallion style; the medallion is usually elongated.
There are a number of villages outside of Kashan that weave rugs and carpets that are sometimes given the Kashan label. Natanz rugs are of an exceptionally fine weave and are usually asymmetrical in design often with a mihrab, and these are only woven in small sizes. Harun rugs and carpets represent the other end of the spectrum in that they are more of a village (rough and coarse) weave and are considerably cheaper than the true product of Kashan.
The Oriental Rug Merchant, 11 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1UL, UK