179. A fascinating pictorial Antique Kashmar Persian carpet

Antique Kashmar Persian Carpet

179. Provenance: Kashmar, Khorasan Province, northeast Persia

Size: 391 x 300 cm

Age: Circa 1920

Condition: In general pretty good, though there are several areas of weakness and wear, commensurate with age. This is reflected in the price.

Notes: The Zirhaki ('underground'/'subterraenean') design which usually features vases, deer, peackocks and a wealth of historical reference and story-telling. These 'treasure' rugs may reflect life in the period of Shah Abbas (reign: 1588 - 1629), perhaps the height of Persia's glory, or alternatively the bas reliefs may represent the ancient city of Persopolis ('City of the Persians'), the capital of the Achaemanid Empire (550-330 BC) which was located 70km northeast of modern-day Shiraz. The details may have been copied from 19th century French lithographs and engravings (some apparently even contain French phrases, lifted verbatim). Either way, these Kashmar carpets are amongst the most Persian-feeling of all today's carpets and are a visual feast. They are solidly woven on cotton foundations using soft and glossy wool. The particular piece has truly wonderful details, including the man drinking from a goblet under a tree, in the centrepiece window.