Antique Agra Indian Rug

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SKU: 082701-VM

$4,975.00 $9,950.00

The northern city of Agra was once the capital of the Mughal Empire and has been weaving high-quality rugs in all formats and sizes for a varied clientele, both within India and as an export item, for centuries. The British East India Company was sending out Agra carpets in the 17th century. India is generally a warm region, and pile carpets were less an insulating necessity than a sign of affluence and high social position. As a result, there are no village or tribal wool pile rug traditions. Everything comes from one city or another, from workshops specifically created for pile carpet weaving. Some are in local jails, to keep the inmates busy and to provide an extra source of income. Jail carpets are usually large, so this scatter is likely from a purely commercial, good quality, workshop. The old ivory field displays a perfectly balanced three complete column design of stepped and pointed open diamonds enclosing blossom cruciforms, supported by stiff, diagonal floriated stems, lotus palmettes, and assorted other semi-geometric devices. Half and quarter en suite stepped diamonds decorate the sides and corners. Greens and browns are among the accent tones. The look is decorative in a current manner. The khaki main border features stylized serrated leaves, while the inner ivory surround shows lozenges and triple bud arrays. The pattern is infinite and one could easily see it on a large, room-size carpet with additional and longer columns of diamonds. The light color makes it seem larger than it actually is. There are no saturated wine or other reds, or dark blues in this attractive scatter. The weave is quite fine and very even, on an all-cotton foundation, with asymmetric (Persian) knots clipped short. A peculiarity of Indian workshop carpets is the talim system in which a reader instructs the weavers from a talim book which is coded the design and colors of the intended rug. The talim system is not used in Iran, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia, or China. The neat perfection of this rug indicates it is a talim production, probably for the large British carpet conglomerate O.C.M. (Oriental Carpet Manufacturers, Ltd.) which dominated the Indian industry for nearly half a century. Overall, a well-drawn, unusual antique scatter in good condition from a quality workshop.


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