Persian Carpets By Style
Persian Carpets By Color
Links to Popular Pages
The Persian hunting design is one of the oldest and most elusive carpet styles. Originally created for Shahs and imperial leaders, the Persian hunting rug embodies a regal handsomeness and masculinity that is seldom seen in Persian city carpets. Rugs bearing the classic Persian hunting design include the oldest existent pile carpet as well as the most valuable silk carpets known today.
The Persian pictorial rug dates back 2,500 years to the beginning of the international carpet trade. The Pazyryk carpet, which is the oldest known pile carpet and the first hunting rug, was found in an ancient burial tomb from the year 500 B.C. This outstanding Persian hunting rug was preserved in the snow-covered Altai Mountains between Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. The rug features motifs from the collapsed Assyrian Empire that controlled Mesopotamia, the ruling Persian Achaemenid Empire and the ancient Iranian Scythians who inhabited the Altai region and the Asian Steppes.
Despite the early emergence of the Persian hunting rug, depictions of people, animals and huntsmen are not seen again until the 1500s and the height of Safavid rule. Scholars believe the disappearance of hunting designs coincided with the increasing influence of Islamic empires. Aside from tribal pieces decorated with geometric people and animals, these depictions were viewed as a form of idolatry.
By the 16th century, Safavid leaders in Persia and Mughal leaders in sub-continental India were commissioning ornate hunting carpets depicting an elite sport and beloved pastime. Thanks to a date and master weaverís signature woven in one hunting carpet from Kashan that is displayed in Milan, scholars know that the hunting format, including mounted huntsmen and archers set against a lush forested background, emerged during the mid-16th century.
Animals depicted on hunting carpets include horses, camels, war elephants, gazelle, deer, birds, hares, peacocks and mythical creatures like griffins, which are most notably included in the Pazyryk rug. Isfahan, Khorassan, Kerman, Kashan, Quom and Tabriz have been creating outstanding pictorial carpets for centuries. These large weaving centers have traditionally been home to the master weavers and infrastructure needed to create these exceptionally detailed carpets.
Due to differences in construction and
materials, the knot count for hunting
carpets varies from 350 knots per square
inch on a symmetrically knotted wool
carpet from Tabriz to 700 knots per
square inch on an asymmetrically knotted
silk hunting carpet from Isfahan. Because
Persian rugs featuring elaborate hunting
scenes were first created for the
empireís elite leaders, there is a long
tradition of using silk to achieve the
extremely fine designs, minute outlines,
detailed animalís fur and unique
expressions of the huntsmen. In Quom and
Iran's great carpet-producing centers,
weavers are known for using fine outlines
to create fingernails, eyelids, facial
wrinkles and extreme details that make
their hunting rugs come to life.
Fine Persian Rug Showcase
Silk Persian Rugs | Pure Silk Persian Carpets including Silk Qums, Silk Tabrizs and silk carpets from Kashan.
Persian Esfahan Rugs | Includes master pieces from the Seirafian family, Enteshari Isfahan and Emami Isfahan.
Persian Tabriz Rugs | Tabriz Carpets from masters such as Benam Tabriz, Shirfar Tabriz, and Pictorial Tabriz rugs.
Persian Pictorial Rugs | Pictorial Rugs including Animal Scene Rugs, Tree of Life Rugs and Prayer Rugs.
Persian Gonbad Rugs | Dome Design Gonbad Carpets including Silk Gonbad Rugs and Gonbad Tabriz Rugs.
Persian Bidjar Rugs | High Quality Bidjar Carpets including Halvai Bidjars, Golfarang Bidjars, and Takab Bidjars.