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(#F1007) approx. 376x260cm Hand-knotted Isfahan Persian carpet
Type: Persian carpet with signature
Pile: 100% wool without admixture
Warp: 100% cotton
Number of knots: approx. 200.000 knots per m²
Isfahan Persian carpets
Located in central Iran at the foot of the Zagros Mountains, the city of Isfahan has a rich history of carpet making. Under the rule of Malik-Shah I and later Shah Abbas the Great, Isfahan was chosen as the capital of Persia (Iran). The history of carpet making in Isfahan has been interrupted several times, mostly due to military occupation and invasions. Also spelled and pronounced Isfahan, Sepahan, Esfahan or Hispahan, the city experienced its heyday during the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736), particularly under the rule of Shab Abbas, which saw a revival of religion throughout Persia Art came that focused on the cultural city.
Many cultures settled in Isfahan over time, and even today this cosmopolitan city is full of intricate works of art, impressive mosques, bridges, palaces and world-renowned architecture. Besides architecture and carpets, Isfahan is also known for its textiles, arts, steel, crafts and metalworking, as well as traditional food and sweets. The carpets woven in this city are perhaps the most beautiful and valuable in the whole world.
The most popular design is a central medallion surrounded by tendrils or flowers, most commonly red, blue, or indigo on an ivory background. Other popular elements and motifs are vase, garden and tree of life motifs, Shah Abbasi motifs and picture pieces. The inspiration for the carpet design comes from traditional motifs and patterns, nature, poetry and the great poets, but also from the city's rich architectural history; the famous mosque of Shah Lutf Allah is a particular muse for many carpets designed in this big city.
A large Isfahan rug with a general pattern A beautiful Isfahan rug with a traditional colorful medallion in the center A complex Isfahan rug The knots per square inch used in rugs woven in Isfahan can vary from 120 and more but usually 200 if woven in the town itself and not in a surrounding town or village. Many high-quality Isfahan carpets are based on silk base materials, which makes them extremely fine and valuable. Sizes vary, but most are medium to large.
Some of the most famous weavers include the Seirafian family and workshops, and some of the world's most expensive carpets come from Isfahan. Many of these rugs were woven before the Afghan invasion and therefore date to before the 17th century. The world famous Polish or Polish rugs with their silver and gold threads were also woven in Isfahan, not Poland as the name might suggest.Isfahan-Safavid -Silk and wool rug sold for $4,3 million An Isfahan Safavid rug sold for $4 million at Christie's auction house. $45 million The most expensive carpet from Isfahan sold for $4,65 million Out of the ten most expensive carpets ever sold, three came from Isfahan, confirming that the "City of Art" is one of the best places for handmade artwork for the floor.
Left to right: A Safavid-era Isfahan polonaise woven from silk, wool and metallic threads (left). The rug was sold at Sotheby's in 2009 for $4,3million, which was £2,75million at the time. The rug measures just 1,6 x 1,1 meters and fetched a whopping $2,44 million per square meter. At the time of writing this, this carpet was the ninth most expensive in the world. Another Safavid-era rug, this Isfahan silk rug (centre) was part of Doris Duke's collection and was sold by Christies in 2008 for $4,45 million.
At the time of sale, this rug was the most expensive ever sold. The carpet measures 2,3 x 1,7 meters and cost the private collector the exorbitant sum of 1,14 million dollars per square meter. The rug is currently the seventh most expensive in the world. Sotheby's sold this Isfahan rug (right) from the William A. Clark Collection in 2013 for $4,65 million. Measuring 13,5 x 4,3 meters, it is at by far the largest, costing $80.000 per square foot. So although it is the most expensive Isfahan rug ever sold and the sixth most expensive in the world at the time of writing, it is the cheapest per square meter of the three rugs on display. At Little-Persia we have a mix made of Isfahan carpets in different sizes and patterns. You can click here to view our current Isfahan carpets. If you can't find what you're looking for, or if you're looking for something specific, we can help you find something that suits your needs.
Few rugs are as well known as the Iranian handwoven Persian rugs. However, there are some production areas that are characterized by their high quality. One of them is the Isfahan region. An architecturally stunning city where the carpet shines as brightly as the buildings. Inspired by the city itself, carpets with the finest patterns and decorations are knotted in manufactories in western cities.
Few cities have such a concentration of skilled weavers, producing the finest handwoven rugs in the world. With a knot density of over 650.000 knots per square meter, Isfahan carpets are of very high quality and, along with Nain carpets, are among the finest carpets. There are world famous weavers of Isfahan carpets. Some of them are about Seifarian, Ducky or Davari. The number of carpet manufacturers is also very large. The city's shopping streets are lined with carpet dealers, frequented not only by tourists but also by locals.
However, one thing is clear: If you want to feel the real Isfahan under your feet, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. But buyers are getting pieces that are extremely difficult in terms of feel, attention to detail, and craftsmanship, and delight through supreme quality.
A visit to Isfahan, the former capital of Persia, is always worthwhile. It was the country's greatest beauty with many mosques including the famous Imam Mosque, palaces and cities. The Persian proverb that Isfahan is half the world can be understood against this background.
Bijar and its surroundings are a center of carpet production. Bidjar carpets enjoy a special reputation due to their fine and very robust texture. They are particularly resistant because the weft threads are moistened and hammered with an iron comb.
Since this is very strenuous, Bidjar carpets are often knotted by men. The warp and weft are made of cotton, the fleece is made of wool and the fine examples are made of cork wool. The Turkish knot is used. They are usually not made in factories, but at home according to the individual ideas of the weaver. This makes them lively and expressive.
Characteristic is the use of a version of the Herati motif containing a small rosette within a rhombus. This basic motif often also runs through the central medallion (with the characteristic sharp outline), but in this case changes color.
Other versions of Bijar rugs use floral designs, including a large eight-petalled rosette. Red and blue tones predominate. The best Bijar carpets are not knotted by the Kurds, but by the descendants of the Af?ar, in the village of Tekab, about 50 km west of Bijar.
Frequently asked questions
How much is a hand-knotted carpet worth?
How do you recognize a hand-knotted carpet?
A handmade (or hand-knotted) rug is made on a specially designed loom and knotted by hand. In contrast, a machine-woven rug is made on a fully automatic loom controlled by a computer.
The carpet can therefore be produced much faster than a hand-knotted carpet, which can take up to a year to produce.
Also, synthetic materials are more commonly used in machine-made carpets, while wool is predominantly used in hand-made carpets.
Below are some basic tips on how to distinguish genuine handmade rugs from machine-made rugs.
1. Fringes - On a handmade and hand-knotted rug, the fringes are an extension of the rug (warp) and are not sewn in or post-applied to the rug as is common with machine-made rugs.
2. Selvage - This is the outside long side of the rug. This is created by twisting the weft threads at the edge, which are then incorporated and fixed. The origin of a carpet can often be identified by the appearance of the edge, since the processing of the edges is also quite individual in the different weaving regions. A machine-made carpet usually has a very fine and precise edge. With a hand-knotted rug, the edges are sewn by hand and are therefore often a bit uneven and not quite straight.
3. Pattern and Design - The pattern of a machine made rug is usually very precise and the design is usually mirrored from one side to the other. There are few inconsistencies in the design of a machine-made rug as opposed to a hand-made rug.
The weaver often has no design template at all, but rather improvises and knots "from the head" - the result is a charming asymmetry.
4. Backing - One of the telltale ways to tell the difference between a machine-made rug and a hand-knotted rug is to look at the rug's backing.
The knots and weave pattern on the back of a machine carpet are almost always perfect and consistent - sometimes very prominent white threads can be seen (this is the warp thread). The majority of handmade rugs do not have their knots lined up perfectly on the backing and even if you try to calculate the knot density you will find that it is not consistent across the rug.
5. Size and Shape - The shape of a machine-made rug is usually precise and exact, while that of a handmade rug often varies simply due to the fact that everything is made by hand.
Finally, fakes abound and even for the trained eye, it can be difficult to tell the two types of carpet apart. When in doubt, or when considering purchasing a rug, always consult a reputable rug shop or retailer.
Which carpets are the most valuable?
The most expensive carpet in the world: The "Clark Sickle Leaf Carpet"
The most expensive carpet in the world is an antique Persian carpet from the 17th century. It is a Clark sickle leaf rug, which has the format of 2,67 by 1,96 meters and probably comes from the Kerman region in southeastern Iran. This particular red rug with a blue border and a gold-trimmed pattern belonged to the collection of American industrialist William Clark. After his death, it was first given to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington before finally auctioned at Sotheby's in New York in 2013 for nearly $34 million wurde.
The most expensive and probably best-known in Germany: the “Kerman Vase Carpet”
The most valuable German carpet is also a Persian carpet. The slightly wavy "vase technique" carpet, which bears a pattern of colorful flowers, leaves and branches, was made in the 17th century in the province of Kerman. The carpet was in the possession of the French art lover Comtesse Martine Marie-Pol de Béhague for many years, until it ended up in the possession of an elderly lady in Augsburg. The Kerman vase carpet achieved a high level of media awareness because its Augsburg auctioneer set a low value and the carpet later 7,2 million euros at an auction at Christie's in London redeemed what ended in a lawsuit.
How Persian carpets get their value
Persian carpets come from today's Iran, have a long tradition and are produced in a complex process. They have a higher knot density than other carpets and are delicately knotted by hand. Many Persian carpets have beautiful, complex patterns and tell their own unique story. Persian carpet art requires time, calm and experience. Valuable Persian carpets are made from natural materials such as cotton, wool or silk. Traditional manual knotting, passed down from generation to generation, requires some tools that have remained almost unchanged for centuries. Firstly, carpet weavers use a knife to cut the yarn. The pile is then compacted with a comb-like instrument. Finally, scissors are needed to trim the pile to a uniform length.
Carpet quality = high knot density
The knot density per square meter is an indicator of the complexity of a handmade rug and an indication of the quality and goodness of a Persian rug. Carpets are divided into different classes for knot density: 4La, 6La and 9La. The rule is that the denser the carpet is knotted, the lower the La value and the finer the knot and the higher the quality of the carpet. A 4La carpet has a knot density of over 1.200.000 knots per square meter. This density of knots is very rare and is a sign of a very fine carpet. Collectors and connoisseurs are mostly interested in high-quality carpets with a knot density of more than 500.000 knots.
World Heritage carpet
Persian carpets are surrounded by something very special and it becomes clear that they are unique in their design and manufacture. Almost like in a fairy tale from 1001 Nights, they have been convincing people of all cultures for many centuries. They carry the knowledge of many generations and are real collector's items. A piece of cultural history that enriches many houses and apartments with its splendor and aura.
How do you recognize an expensive carpet?
It must first be determined whether the carpet is hand-knotted or machine-knotted. There are three ways to be sure of what type of carpet it is:
A machine-knotted rug has fringes sewn on.
Turn the rug over so you have a good view of the knots at the fringed edge at the back. Pull a single fringe. Observe the knots that are in line with this fringe and connected into the carpet. Do these move when you pull the fringe? If so, that means the fringes are not sewn on and the warp thread through the rug forms the fringes.
A machine-knotted rug is flawless.
Turn the rug over and get comfortable on the back. Look for a pattern that recurs in two different places on the carpet. Compare a row of knots and look for differences. If the knots are of different sizes or if there are even errors in a color sequence, it is clear that it is a case of manual work, which always remains error-prone due to the enormous number of knots.
A machine-knotted rug has no size deviations.
Take a tape measure and measure the width in different places. A hand-knotted carpet shows clear differences in the millimeter range.
Where is the carpet from?
Since the traditionally knotting countries always guarantee a standard that promises the advantages of a real carpet, it is particularly important to pay attention to the country of origin. This must always be specified for a carpet offered for sale, as you can only directly compare carpets from the same region of origin.
However, it must be said that most re-knots are also dedicated manual work, just as elaborate patterns and often interesting pattern variations. Only the advantages of a real carpet are not always given due to the often inferior material quality and simpler knotting technique.
Real carpets come from:
Iran/Persia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Russia
Reconnections come in particular from:
Pakistan, India (often disguised as "Indo-" before the name), China and North African countries.
“Errors and mistakes excepted”
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