Anyone who’s interested in learning how to decorate with Oriental rugs should understand the history of the unique art of rug weaving, and the rich history of Persian Oriental rugs is indicative of the importance of the arts in the early modern period. Very few of the most beautiful rugs made are around today, and there are many fakes and copies that try to pass for the original works. If you want to learn more about the history of oriental rugs, keep reading to learn about the two most famous carpets known by historians today.
- The Pazyryk Carpet
The oldest known rug in the world, the Pazyryk Carpet is a historical treasure that has been studied by historians from many countries. It was discovered in Siberia in 1949, and dates back to the 5th century BC. This rug was woven with the Turkish knot, which is favored by rug makers because it creates a robust and durable fabric. This knot usually causes the rug to become more elongated than the intended shape, i.e. squares become rectangles and circles become ovals. The Persian knot is favored in modern day, because it does not distort the shape as much. This carpet is believed to have about 277 knots per square inch, which speaks to the cost of having it made — greater than 160 knots per square inch is unusual for most rugs.
The design of the Pazyryk Rug is detailed and required careful planning before it was woven, which also suggests that it was expensive to manufacture. Most weavers create rugs from memory and improvise as they go. Designs are often influenced by artwork, the weaver’s memory, other rugs, or architecture. This rug has a unique design that doesn’t match any other object of historical significance. The complexity of this design makes it likely that a picture or template was drawn to guide the weaver, and this would have had a high price tag during the time it was created. Collaboration between painters or artists and rug weavers was not as common in ancient times, because communication was not as easy as it is today.
- The Ardabil Carpet
This carpet has its origins in Iran and is currently housed in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was woven in the mid 16th century to be placed in a mosque, and it was sold in 1890 to a British vender. Since then, it has made its way through many local Oriental rug dealers, until it was acquired by the museum in which it is located today.
The material from which this famous rug is woven is fine silk and wool, and there are an estimated 300 knots per square inch. The high number of knots per inch on the carpet size of 34 by 17 feet translates to 26 million knots in the entire rug, which would have been time consuming to produce. The carpet degraded over time due to trade among consumers, but it was restored by skilled oriental rug dealers. Restoration was expensive, but experts agreed that the preservation of this finely crafted original rug was worth the cost.
The beautiful and rare qualities of this rug have inspired many copies to be made by people who are seeking a large payout by selling a false product. A skilled dealer who is experienced with evaluating Persian Oriental rugs for sale will be able to recognize a fake, so any consumer who is interested in purchasing an original rug should get advice from a few Oriental rug dealers before investing.