Persian rugs are considered a work of art that is timeless and elegant in any space. They are made of the highest-quality materials that endure over time, retaining their beauty even after centuries. They are woven by hand and have intricate patterns, which are a signature of their region of origin. These characteristics make them unique and distinguishable from other types of rugs. It is important to know the history of Persian rugs and understand their value when choosing one to purchase.
The history of the Persian rug spans multiple cultures and dynasties throughout the centuries. However, the Persian style of rug weaving truly came into its own during the 16th century when Safavid court manufactories produced rugs that are considered the pinnacle of the genre. Unlike the symmetrical designs of other types of rugs, antique Persian rugs often have a combination of patterns and shapes that carry specific symbolism. These symbols are often decoded based on the region from which the rug hails. For instance, peonies represent power and lilies signify purity while pomegranates suggest fertility.
Authentic antique Persian rugs are made using a variety of wool and silk threads. They are woven by hand and use the symmetrical Persian knot, which was invented in different rug weaving centers. The use of other types of knots was not as effective and resulted in a less durable carpet.
A key characteristic of an antique Persian rug is the fringe, which should look like a natural extension of the rug and not be sewn or glued on. Rug weavers would make knots until they reached the rug’s size and then let the excess material trail off, forming the fringe. This method was more labor-intensive than other methods and it is a sure way to identify a genuine rug from a fake.
Another way to spot a genuine rug is to examine its underside for signs of wear or corrosion. Corrosion is a result of chemical interactions between the dyes used to color the rug and the natural materials that are found in its fibers. When the fibers come into contact with water, they can begin to corrode, causing brown discoloration that is sometimes mistaken for wear.
Before purchasing a Persian rug, it is also important to consider its dimensions. A rug that is too small can look cluttered and crowded in a room while one that is too large will not fit into the space. It is best to measure the room where the rug will be placed in order to avoid making a costly mistake.
There are many antique and vintage Persian rugs available today from reputable dealers and galleries. Some of the more famous galleries include Doris Leslie Blau in New York City, which features a curated collection of over 18,000 rugs from around the world. If you are interested in acquiring an antique Persian rug, do your research and visit a reputable dealer. They will be able to help you find the perfect rug for your home.