KASHAN (MANSCHESTER WOOL) 16191
490 X 337 cm ( 192 x 132 inches ) from sh.sameyeh Oriental carpet catalogue page No.241
2 nd quarter of 20th century
Antique Kashan Rugs are among the very finest Persian rugs and carpets. Kashan was a center of silk production since Safavid times and some of the best classical Persian silk rugs have been attributed to Kashan. At the end of the nineteenth century the weavers there began to produce high quality rugs and carpets as well, which continued the high standards of design and technique established in the classical era. The very best antique Kashans carpets are known as Motashem Kashan. They often have medallion designs, but allover Kashans are not uncommon. The palette can be deep and rich in the classical tradition, or it can utilize softer hues appropriate to modern decor.
Though Kashan is now removed from the commercial trade route of Persia, it used to be the largest city in the northwest, and virtually all traffic between Esfahan and the east passed through it. Because of this important location Kashan became the popular stop on a bustling trade route during the Safevid Era. In modern times, nearby mountain ranges prohibit trucks from traveling the route that caravans had so often ventured. During this era in which carpet weaving flourished in Persia, Kashan developed a reputation as one of the finest weaving centers of the east.
Most books on antique Kashan rugs, its history, its art and its artists, its architecture, ceramics, glass, metals, and its textile art and industry, mention a large number of masters and artists, but with regards to carpets, master weavers and laboratories there are only a few references. Signed carpets, for this reason, also become a key instrument of research. By analyzing the structure and decoration, it becomes possible to establish the characteristics of a specific production type. Once this has been identified, other non-signed pieces can be attributed with certainty. It is using this method that many carpets can be attributed to Mohtasham.All natural dyes are paramount for the carpet to have more than just decorative value. Beyond that, various dyers had varying levels of skill and invested different lengths of time in dyeing the yarns. The “quality of color”–its radiance and level of nuance within each color–is centrally important. Certain rare colors such as Tyrian purple, saffron yellow, cochineal rose and greens add to the carpet’s value