The origin of carpet weaving is often disputed. The most common belief is rug weaving was believed to be first created by Cyrus the Great during his reign of the Persian Empire in 529 B.C. These carpets were made in very small villages for residential use with designs and weavings identifiable of the specific community or tribe they were created. The artistic weave, quality, and deign of antique rugs reached its pinnacle during the Safavid Dynasty (1499-1722). This was most likely because Shah Tahmasp and Shah Abbas of the dynasty created a weaving industry that focused on large commercial production including highly skilled and organized weaving workshops. Royal workshops were established specifically for designers and workers to create the best carpets with intricate designs. Silk with silver or gold thread are examples of the high quality fibers used. Highly skilled artists would sketch the carpet designs, and the most intricate designs would be used by the most talented weavers in the empire. The Shah’s full support made sure the quality of the product was unparalleled during these times. Trade was then established with Europe with Persian rugs as one of the products that spurred economic growth, and Persia had grown into its golden age. The majority of most sought after antique rugs were made during this time with arguably the two greatest rugs ever woven in the mosque of Ardebil in 1539. These rugs are now located in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the other one is in the Los Angeles County Museum.
The fundamentals of weaving antique rugs have not changed for centuries many of the earliest known techniques and materials are still in use in the major rug producing regions of the world today such as Turkey, China, Persia, India, Morocco, and Europe. Every antique rug tells story. This story gives us insight to the time period they were created and the lives of the weavers.
Antique rugs can stand on their own for historical importance and cultural significance. Each culture ensures the longevity of their design iconography through the making of the rugs. Most high-end antique carpets, especially those from Persia or India, have traditionally been made in sophisticated urban settings where a high value was placed on such fine artistry. The more tribal and casual carpets were woven by nomadic tribesmen and women as they had access to coarser material and didn't have the advantage of an established rug loom. These men and women were inspired by cultural trends and historical events.
The golden age of rug weaving in India, Persia and Turkey occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries due to the Industrial revolution in Europe. For the newly emerged merchant class at the time, oriental rugs primarily functioned as beautiful status symbols of wealth and good taste. Most of the carpets and antique area rugs in the vast Doris Leslie Blau collection were produced during this period.
Antique carpets can vary in color, size, design, and material. Trends in utilizing antique rugs are constantly changing. One of the current popular trends in buying antique and vintage rugs is towards neutral colors which can be used in any environment. Although antique decorative rugs come in a myriad of colors, every rug has the potential to anchor a room and to create an inviting ambiance; after all a rug is the foundation of any great room. Edgar Allen Poe once wrote that "the soul of the apartment is in the carpet."
We cordially invite you to view the largest collection of antique carpets at the crossroads of the world in New York City.
Size: 18' × 12'7'' Circa: 1880 A late 19th century Sultanabad antique rug from West Persia, the cream field with a bold allover pattern of staggered pink, blue, green and beige stylized palmettes separated by floral vinery and... Item No: BB6048
Size: 19'5'' × 14'2'' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century antique Persian Bakhtiari carpet having an allover lattice of stepped cusped medallions containing strap work, rosettes and floral vines in shades of blue, brown and sand... Item No: BB6047
Size: 19'3'' × 14' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century Persian Kirman (Kerman) antique carpet, the blue field with floral sprays covered with linked rust and camel cartouches containing floral motifs within a blue cartouche... Item No: BB6046
Size: 19' × 16'2'' Circa: 1880 A late 19th century antique Persian Kirman (Kerman) rug, the cocoa field with an elaborate allover intricately drawn design of abstract palmettes and cypresses surrounded by floral devices within... Item No: BB6045
Size: 12'10'' × 9'6'' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century Persian Tabriz antique rug, the steel blue field with an allover lattice of palmettes and flowering vinery within a dusty peach palmette and millefleur border. Item No: BB6031
Size: 11'3'' × 9'6'' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century Persian Tabriz antique rug, the light brown field of staggered vases issuing floral bouquets in shades of red and separated by serrated leaves within a similar vase and... Item No: BB6030
Size: 13'7'' × 10'3'' Circa: 1920 A Persian Sultanabad rug, the abrashed red field, with an allover stylized flowerhead and leafy vine trellis within a bold ivory rosette and angular vine border. Item No: BB6029
Size: 12'10'' × 6'4'' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century Caucasian Karabagh European-influenced antique rug, the dusty rose and sage field with staggered enlarged palmette formed medallions containing ovals with floral motifs... Item No: BB6028
Size: 16'5'' × 6' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century Persian Malayer antique carpet, the midnight blue field with an overall reciprocal design of staggered floral sprays within a series of sand and salmon vinery borders. Item No: BB6027
Size: 21'5'' × 14'5'' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century North Indian antique carpet, the abrashed camel field with a graceful allover design of cypresses and flowering trees within a camel millefleur and rosette border. Item No: BB6024
Size: 19'9'' × 10' Circa: 1880 A late 19th century antique French Aubusson carpet with red accents throughout, the oval ivory field with fine specks overall within an architectural inner border with a seed-pearl frame and... Item No: BB6022
Size: 24'8' × 14' Circa: 1920 A North Indian rug, the abrashed camel field with a lush overall design of flowering trees with aubergine accents within a camel border dominated by a scrolling aubergine vine. Item No: BB5982
Size: 22' × 14'3'' Circa: 1880 A fine example from our collection of late 19th century Turkish Hereke antique carpets, the beige field surrounding orange cusped pendants on a beige floral border. Item No: BB5981
Size: 22'9'' × 13' Circa: 1920 An early 20th century Persian Kirman (Kerman) carpet, the pale peach field with an overall design of scattered millefleur and leaves around spacious rows of palmettes within a pistachio floral... Item No: BB5980
Size: 6'6'' × 3'4'' Circa: 1880 A Late 19th Century Caucasian Shirvan with irregular diamond shapes forming a color blocked half drop grid pattern. Sunflower Yellow and Poppy Red dominate. Item No: BB5974
Size: 19'2'' × 12'9'' Circa: 1890 Antique Persian Garden Tabriz, Circa 1890 -- View an amazing Persian Tabriz garden designed. It features a very ornate background. The rusty-reds,black and blues that are woven... Item No: BB5961
Size: 9' × 8'10'' Circa: 1900 An early 20th century Indian Agra rug, the pale caramel field with an allover lozenge lattice formed by flowering vines, each lozenge containing floral motifs with ochre accents overall within a... Item No: BB5940