Exquisite Fine Old Kerman Carpet

Rug #2625
Size: 377 x 280 cm / 12.4 x 9.2 ft
Handwoven in: 

Exquisite fine old Kerman carpet, floral allover pattern, complex multi layered design, fine weave, soft lustrous wool, extensive range of complementary colours and associated accent tones, blue, saffron, purple tyrolean pink, green, beige, and ivory

Kerman refers to both a city and a province in South Central Persia (Iran). The city itself is one of the great historic weaving centres of Persia, and is place to which one of the most distinctive groups of of late 16th and mid-17th century carpets is attributed, the so called ‘Vase’ carpets. Despite the fact that Kerman has been a centre of carpet production since the 17th century Safavid period, the golden age of carpet making from this city and surrounding town and villages including the important centre of Ravar dates from the late 1800’s. From this time the volume of textiles and carpets to European and North American markets dramatically multiplied in a short period of time, due to increased wealth across a wider audience from economic growth. A shift or revival of interest in ‘all things Eastern’ became apparent and like other urban centres of carpet production, Kerman and neighbouring villages responded accordingly and produced versatile and varied carpet designs including; medallion designs, all-over patterns, panel or diaper designs, prayer formats and pictorial compositions with or without hunting scenes, or those    including figural subject matter. Carpet weaving in Kerman and in the town of Ravar had been established as a tradition long before the end of the 19th century. When Sir Percy Sykes (then Major Sykes) established the first British Consulate in command in 1895, he wrote that there were about 1000 carpet weaving looms in Kerman, 100 in Ravar, and about 30 in the surrounding villages. The earliest post- Safavid looms in the district were erected in Ravar, 100 miles North East of  Kerman, dated carpets from there go back to 1866 AD.

With the expansion of the carpet industry in Persia towards the end of the 19th century primarily as a result of demand from Europe, carpet importing firms from Britain and America established offices in Kerman. The export of Persian Kerman carpets was continuous and increased with 90% of the production going to the United States by the 1930s. For a more detailed survey see , Edwards, A.Cecil; The Ravar  has long been the origin of some of the finest of Persian Kerman handmade carpets. The historical explanation appears to be that as a result the late 17th Century conflicts associated with regional feuding Khans, much of Kerman was destroyed and a large part of the population, among them many highly skilled carpet Ustaden and equally skilled carpet weavers, fled to the neighbouring town of Ravar where workshops became established over time. Although the weavings are characteristic of Kerman, the high quality carpets produced in Ravar soon gained recognition and significance in the ‘Revival’ of the Persian carpet industry with carpet designs and subject matter recalling the ‘Golden Age’ of woven art, synonymous with 17th Century Safavid Dynasty ( 1502-1736 ), royal patronage.

Characteristic of the ‘Revival’ also saw the emergence of varying subject matter, which include a range of varying pictorial rugs, with detailed depictions of people, and animal scenes, often a mixture of both, woven with great detail and fineness associated with the established handmade Kerman carpet tradition of excellence in technical excellence and visual impact.


For further information please contact us and our team will be pleased to assist you. All pieces in the collection are under the auspices of Essie Sakhai, one of the world’s foremost experts and collectors of fine handmade Persian rugs and carpets.