Persian Rugs and Carpets: The Fabric of Life

Monday, September 13, 2010

Active ImageAuthor: Essie Sakhai

Editor: Ian Bennett

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Antique Collectors Club Dist A/C; 1 edition (May 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 185149507X
ISBN-13: 978-1851495078

This book shows the vast range and quality of carpets woven in Persia from about 1850 to 1980. In addition, there is a discussion of rugs woven in countries or areas adjacent to Persia itself, particularly those rugs that either fell or fall into the Persian geographical or cultural orbit, Caucasian weavings, Turkish and Hereke silk rugs and certain weavings that have strong Persian and Islamic influences.

The book is divided into sections dealing with each distinct generic type of rug:

Nineteenth and early twentieth century city rugs, covering the major centres - Tabriz, Kashan, Kerman Esfahan, Mashad etc. The same from early twentieth century to the present day and including discussions of the major master-weavers such as Mohtasham of Kashan, the semi-mythical Haji Jalili of Tabriz, Amoghli of Mashad and the well-known later masters such as Sairafian, Haghighi, Mamouri and Hekmatnejad. The rugs and woven artefacts of the settled villages in the major weavings areas from west to east concentrating in particular on the many distinctive weaving areas of western Persia from late nineteenth century to the present day. The rugs and woven artefacts of the nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes of Persia from the late nineteenth century to the present day, with particular emphasis on the north western tribes of Kurds, Shahsavan and Lori; the south western tribes of the Lori-Bakhtiari, Lori, Qashqai, Khamseh and Afshari; the eastern tribes of Kurds, Baluchi and (related groups) and Afshari. A general chapter on the market place, buying and maintenance, display, and a section on structure, dyes etc. with diagrams.

Active ImageThe Fabric of Life presents a pictorial journey around Persia, reflecting the weaving and pattern styles of the many regions and tribes, including Esfahan, Kashan, Nain, Qum, Kerman, Tabriz, Bakhtiari, Senneh, Malayer and Qashqa'i, showing the vast range of carpets woven in Persia from about 1850 to the third quarter of the 20th century.

The introductory text to each section explains the particular aspects of that region's weaving style. In addition, each caption gives an in-depth account of the carpet, not only the date and region in which it was woven, but also the motifs and patterns, the technique used, even the weaver, and, in the case of pictorial carpets, the fascinating stories being depicted.

The introductory essay takes the reader through the history and geography of the Persian rug, including information on structure, weaving and knotting, the different output of the city and urban workshops compared to tribal and village weaving, flatweaves, and identification.

It also features points of note for the collector, such as conservation and cleaning, as well as highlighting the difficulties in dating rugs, and the problems with fakes. This exquisite book, lavishly illustrated in colour throughout, is a testament to this rich and vibrant art form.

Active ImageEssie Sakhai is a much respected expert and dealer in oriental carpets based in Central London. His first book The Story of Carpets was translated into many languages as was his second book Oriental Carpets: The Buyer’s Guide. Born in Iran to a family with a long history of dealing in Persian carpets, perhaps it was inevitable that Essie Sakhai should become a respected expert on Oriental and Persian carpets, gaining much of his great knowledge from his father Benayahoo Sakhai.

Ian Bennett is respected world-wide as an authority on Oriental and Persian carpets and is considered as one of the most important writers, editors, and authors in the field. A former consultant to Sotheby's and editor of the specialist Oriental rug magazine "Hali", he is the author of several books on the subject, including "Book of Oriental Carpets and Rugs, Oriental Rugs, Vol I: Caucasian", and "Rugs and Carpets of the World".

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