Cotton pile rugs were woven in Agra for both domestic use during the summer, and for export as an alternative to wool pile pieces in more saturated colors. The tonality is generally lighter, nearly pastel, and the number of colors in fewer than on a wool carpet. Cotton yarn has less absorbency than does wool or silk, thus the same dyes produce a softer tonality. The indented directional lattice displaying the foil flowering plants is derived directly from Deccani carpets of the 18th Century. The Deccani sultanates, south of the Mughal empire, wove carpets in styles simplified from their Mughal archetypes. The lattice repeat was extremely popular and easy to weave. Daccani silk rugs of the circa 1800 period are frequently on a yellow ground and display repeating lattice patterns. This rug (#19973) appears to be a later interpretation of this style. The border, the so-called “open kufesque” type is featured on “lotto” and small-pattern “Holbein” rugs from Ushak in western Turkeym from the mid 15th Century until the end of the 16th Century. The designer of this Agra worked from a book illustration to produce this interpretation of a classic pattern. Rug books with color illustrations began to appear in the 1890’s and Indian manufacturers were among the first to utilize them to produce innovative patterns.
*research by Peter Saunders
Sometimes in the antique rug industry, you will come across a client who is looking for a rug in “German” Condition (Generally, this will be a European client). What this means is that they are looking for a rug that is in perfect condition, with an un-used look. The phrase comes from the fact that rugs in Europe just don’t age the same as those in America. In many European nations, the antique rug is revered. They are placed in show rooms where they are generally un-touched. The rugs in these types of settings age very well. Their color is strong, their pile full, and are without stains or spills. In many instances one cannot even tell that rugs in such perfect condition are antique at all.
For most Americans, however, this is a turn off. Generally, an American client desires that patina that comes with a used antique rug. It is a look, or feeling, that is telling of the rugs age and history.
The way that antique rugs are used and stored can greatly affect what market they will be sellable in. Rugs which have been kept pristine and new looking will be more valuable to the European market, while rugs that show age and use tend to be more desired in the American market.
Antique rugs were once new production. About 80 – 90 years ago, carpets from the orient were sold at extremely high prices throughout Europe. European manufacturers saw the need to produce such products at lower costs, causing a sweep of production through Europe in places such as Donegal and Axminster.
This is the reason that some Donegal rugs can be found with Turkish Oushak patterns. While the need to produce a product for cheaper dominated the “where” of the production, there was still a desire for the cultural feel of an oriental rug. On top of being less expensive to make, there was also more control over how the product was made.
The first thing that most people want to understand about rugs is how to classify them. There are a number of ways to do this.
One could classify rugs by general rug type:
a. Tribal Weavings
b. Cottage Rugs
c. Workshop Rugs
One could classify rugs by the style they portray:
a. Tribal, or geometric, weavings.
b. Decorative, or casual, rugs.
c. City, or formal, rugs.
From there, a more specific classification comes into play, where the rug is from:
After pinpointing where a rug is from, it can further be categorized by weave type and color to a distinct area within the countries of origin. Here is a list of most types of rugs:
Kashan – Dabir
Kashan – Mohtasham
Kerman – Lavar
Malayer – Mishan
Mashad – Sabeer
Mood (NE Persian)
Sarouk – Farahan
Sarouk – Mohajeran
Sultanabad – Ziegler
Tabriz – Haji Jalili
Oushak – Angora
Oushak – Borlou
English Art Deco
German – Bauhaus
Spanish – Cuenca
American Hooked Rugs
Bezalel – Palestine
All of the above:
We at Rahmanan are working to give you the best possible experience in shopping for your antique rug. We understand that many people have questions or concerns when buying an antique for their floor, and have a yearning to know more about the processes and people who were involved in the craft of these pieces. We would love to answer any questions you may have, as well as educate our customers more about the wonderful world of antique rugs. We would like to provide the ultimate purchasing experience for our clients, so if there are any topics you would be interested in knowing more about, please let us know.