Very Fine Extra Large Tabriz Carpet

Rug #5066
Size: 512 x 412 cm / 16.8 x 13.5 ft
Handwoven in: 
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An Exceptionally Fine ‘Medallion and Animal’ Tabriz Carpet, North West Persia, Kork Wool on Cotton Foundation

Early 20th Century

The dark blue field with two lobed rectangular flora and fauna pendant medallions supported by scrolling curvilinear sinuous vines issuing flower head roundels ending in serrated curled leaves, adorned with exotic birds and Simurgh, quarter medallion outer surround and spandrels, within a polychrome border enclosing continuous flora and fauna pictorial cartouches

The city of Tabriz in North West Persia, was the earliest Capital of the Safavid Dynasty, ( 1502 – 1736 ), and as such is most likely to have been the centre of carpet production longer than any other significant centre in Persia. Regarded as the ‘Golden Age ‘ of carpet making, the Safavid Shah’s were avid patrons of the arts in all subjects, and actively encouraged pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and creativity. Tabriz led the way, and as a result of this long tradition, Persian Tabriz carpets, influenced by varying cultures over time display a huge repertoire of varying designs from ‘medallion’ to overall repeat patterns. The range of colours in the Tabriz palette is seemingly endless, and the combination of colours used is always carefully considered to create the most harmonic and decorative end product. From these earlier times, these established traditions have continued through to the present day, and many exceptional Persian Tabriz carpets have been made closely based on the ‘original’ Safavid carpet designs. This magnificent Persian Tabriz carpet is based on a style of design classified as ‘Medallion and Animal’ pattern seen in a small group of recognisable carpets dating to the late 16th Century. They are often referred to as ‘Sanguszko’ carpets so named after an example belonging to Prince Roman Sanguszko which is said to have been acquired as booty at the battle of Chocim in the Polish Commonwealth, 1621, which is exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, attributed to Kerman in South East Persia. A carpet also considered from this group is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This fine Persian Tabriz carpet displays a highly complex, detailed design, symmetrical on both the horizontal and vertical axis, with a base level of extremely finely drawn sinuous curvilinear scrolling vines issuing a profusion of small flower heads ending in curled leaves and overlaid with flower heads, and in turn overlaid with mythical exotic birds all of which generate a great harmonic sense of movement to the design. These details are overlaid with two central medallions. Worthy of note is the presence of four small animals in each medallion ‘cavorting’ into the field as a top layer, creating a clever link to the main field area. This is a rare device as normally the medallions are not ‘attached’ but float majestically on top of the field layers as independent entities as part of the design. The spandrels are attached to side ‘half ‘ medallions which disappear into the main border, a device often seen in carpets which suggests an ‘infinite’ repeat to the design giving the suggestion that the main field area continues for infinity. The border of this outstanding Persian Tabriz carpet compliments the main field action adorned with animals in landscape settings. The colours are from an extensive Tabriz palette with many varying tones of red, blue, ochre and ivory applied with great consideration to create maximum impact to the decorative appearance. This Persian Tabriz carpet presents an opulent grandiose rendition of a 17th Century ‘Medallion and Animal’ carpet made in the early years of the 20th Century, technically fine and detailed and in tune with the very best of early 20th Century Persian Tabriz workmanship.