Antique Indian Rugs
The production of antique Indian rugs and carpets in any quantity dates back to the Mughal period of the late 1520's. Beginning with the conquest of Northern India by Babur, weaving workshops developed around the imperial cities of Agra, Fathpur and Lahore. Akbar the Great (1556-1605) and his successors sponsored and encouraged the weaving of splendid Indian versions of classic Persian floral, garden and hunting rugs and carpets. As an eminent patron of the arts, Jahangir (reigning from 1605-1628), possessed a deep love for the beauty of nature, influencing the artists of his court. Unlike antique Agra carpets manufactured in the prisons of India, antique North Indian rugs were products of a cottage industry controlled by families of carpet weavers. With a knotted pile of the softest pashmina wool, the antique North Indian carpets originated and perfected by these weaving families, have to this day, rarely been equaled. One of the common patterns of vintage Indian rugs are naturalistic floral designs – this feature is typical for carpets woven in the time of Jahangir's reign. Millefleurs motif can also be found on Indian carpets. Indian rugs are known to be intricately woven, one can notice that their soft wool and silk warps change the colors across the width of the carpet giving the impression of the rainbow bands. The field is often covered by a myriad of fine flowerheads connected by fine vinework. Antique Indian rugs were widely recognized for their outstanding craftsmanship and today they are still considered to be first-class quality.