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Fine Antique Isfahan Persian Rug, Hand Knotted, Circa 1890
sfahan rugs are knotted on either silk or cotton foundations, with up to 1.000.000 Persian knots/sqm(there have been pieces created by Seyrafian master workshop with higher knot count), using exceptionally good quality (referred to as kork wool in Iran) wool for the pile, which is normally clipped quite low. In the beginning of the renewal of Isfahan as the carpet center of high quality rugs, most rugs used traditional motifs inspired by the architectural motifs and tiles that decorated the historical buildings of this great city. Designers were further inspired by the poets of Persia (Rumi, Hafez, Attar), nature, and religious spiritual intimations that are deeply ingrained in the culture. In contemporary items the palette has become more pastel, utilizing the technical perfection and artistic flair of this "City of Art". Both Classical and contemporary Isfahan’s are extremely attractive, and the subduing of the palette, particularly the elimination of strong reds, makes them more compatible with Western decorative schemes.
A range of traditional designs are still used including allover Shah Abbas, Vase, Tree of Life and Pictorial schemes but by far the most popular composition is based on a circular central medallion (Derived from the famous mosque of Shah Lutf Allah in Isfahan) set against an elegantly sculpted field decorated with intricately purling vine palmette and flor motifs.
Antique/ semi-Antique rugs of Isfahan are more colorful and richer in tone than that of Nain, a nearby city renowned for its exceptional handmade rugs. Antique Isfahans are quite sought after since production had been almost completely been halted since 1722, during which the Afghan invasion occurred. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that it was firmly reestablished.