Very Fine, Signed, Antique Persian Kashan Ahmad Shah Rug

Rug #2117
Size: 198 x 133 cm / 6.5 x 4.4 ft
Handwoven in: 

Very Fine, Signed, Antique Persian Kashan Ahmad Shah Rug Pictorial Kork Wool (Cashmere)


An Exceptionally Fine Kashan Pictorial Rug, Depicting ‘Ahmad Shah Qajar’, Central Persia, Kork Wool (Cashmere)on Cotton Foundation

The caramel field with a portrait scene depicting Ahmad Shah Qajar in full regalia mounted on a white charger amongst flowering plants, supported by meandering ascending trees bearing fruit and leaves below domed palace buildings flanked on either side by blue star cartouches with script within a red border enclosing continuous lobed and stepped inscription cartouches alternating with sinuous blossoming plants flanked by pairs of birds

Historically, Kashan, has from the early 17th Century developed a reputation as one of the finest weaving centres in Central Persia. Antique Persian Kashan Rugs are technically and artistically among the most highly regarded in the history of Persian rugs and carpets. Towards the end of the 19th century at a time generally considered as the dawn of the ‘Revival’ in Persian carpet production, the weavers there began to produce high quality wool and silk rugs and carpets, which continued the high standards of design and technique originally established in the 17th century Safavid Classical era. They often display traditional central medallion formats, and all over repeat patterns. Pictorial rugs of varying subject matter, with or without figures also appear as a significant part of the design repertoire in Persian Kashan rugs. The Kashan colour palette can be deep and rich in the classical tradition, or it can utilize more pastel softer hues appropriate to the more contemporary approach towards decoration styles.

This Persian Kashan pictorial rug presents a woven portrait of Ahmad Shah Qajar, drawn and presented in a particular style. Figures and animals are either presented with a high degree of detail and realism or, as is the case here in a naïve almost childlike way with figures and animals ‘fore shortened’ and presenting just enough detail to recognise the individual depicted. There is also very little shading which serves to only enhance the basic relevance of the figures. All this is deliberate of course, demonstrating the understanding of varied styles of depiction and exceptional skill of the Kashan weavers in their ability to adapt their weaving styles to maximum effect. The drawing of the primary subject matter emphasises the importance of the figure as the primary element of the entire composition. The composition is enhanced still further by the contrasting colours of the white horse, pale face, and dark blue uniform of Ahmad Shah against a near monochrome neutral caramel brown back ground. An endearing image is presented with this style of drawing and was very much a part of the Persian Kashan design repertoire from the late 19th Century onwards. Intriguingly, and cleverly the highly skilled Kashan weavers, have included some extremely fine detailing, almost to remind us of their natural ability in the art of technically fine weaving as seen here in the pattern detail on the sheath of the sabre, and the attached strap work and stirrup straps.

This Persian Kashan pictorial rug is a superb example of its type, woven by highly skilled weavers of Kashan.

As a bit of history, though in brief, on 16 July 1909, Mohammad Ali Shah was overthrown by rebels seeking to restore the 1906 Persian Constitution. The rebels then convened the Grand ‘Majles’ of 500 delegates from different backgrounds, which placed Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Ali’s eleven-year-old son, on to the Sun Throne. However, things did not work out satisfactorily, and Ahmad Shah went into exile with his family in 1923. Ahmad Shah’s apparent lack of interest in attending to the affairs of the state and poor health had prompted him to leave Persia on an extended trip to Europe. He was formally deposed on 31 October 1925, when Reza Khan was proclaimed Shah by the ‘Majlis’, as Reza Shah Pahlavi. This terminated the Qajar Dynasty and welcomed in the new Pahlavi Dynasty.


Very Fine, Signed, Antique Persian Kashan Ahmad Shah Rug. This piece was handwoven in Kashan , Iran. 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.