The Elusive ‘Zieglers’

Founded at the height of the 19th century ‘Persian Revival’, Ziegler & Co. in Sultanabad was the first Western firm to co-ordinate the production and export of Persian carpets for Western markets. Today the terms ‘Ziegler’ and ‘Mahal’ are used as a catch-all for many desirable furnishing carpets from Iran and beyond. Here the Bay Area dealer and writer Emmett Eiland tries to understand what a ‘Ziegler’ carpet is and asks whether the ubiquity of the label has rendered it meaningless?