Persian rugs enjoy great recognition and appreciation around the world due to their remarkable quality, ingenuity and beauty. However, the term “Persian rugs” is extremely general as the mighty Persian Empire used to encompass vast areas of land and numerous cities, many of which were distinguished by their own weaving schools, each having secrets of the profession, preferable motifs, techniques and colors.
One of the most renowned and paramount weaving centers was Mashad.
Today, Mashhad is the second most populous city in Iran and the capital of Khorasan Province situated in the eastern part of the country. The town is considered holy and visited every year by millions of Moslem pilgrims. Its religious importance can be attributed to the fact that Mashad houses the tomb of Imam Reza, the eight Shia Imam – a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and thus a paramount figure of Islam. There is a tendency to use the terms Mashad (also known as Meshed) and Khorasan rugs interchangeably, and it is in a way justified. However, the Khorasan Province consisted of many other weaving centers and not all of them matched the exceptional quality of Meshad creations. The carpet manufacturing in Mashad has always been extensive, with the exportation that pre-dates 1555 and some rare pieces that have found their way to various museums around the world.
Antique rugs that were executed in the traditional Meshed style can be identified based on numerous characteristic features. They normally comprise a cotton foundation and exceptionally tight, asymmetric knot with density reaching 160 000-260 000 knots per square meter. Mashad rugs are famous for their soft and luminous woolen pile – many claim its quality is second to none. Most certainly, compared to other Khorasan carpets, Mashad ones are the finest. They also stand out thanks to relatively large formats and extensive, highly decorative medallions, though a medallion design is one of the most frequently used in Persian rugs in general. They are precious wonders that contributed to the growth and welfare of the Holy City.
If you would like to find out more about Meshad rugs or other traditional rug patterns, do not hesitate to contact us by email DD@DorisLeslieBlau.com or call 212-517-9178. You are more than welcome to visit our gallery located on 306 East 61st Street, 7th Floor, New York and if by any chance you are visiting the capital, come to The Washington Design Centre at 1099 14th Street, N.W. Suite 325. We assure that our consultants will be at your disposal, serving with their expertise and kind advice.