Vintage persian rugs carry a deep symbolism and history that are inextricably linked to the cultural heritage of the erstwhile Persian empire. Their intricate designs, rich colors and fine craftsmanship make them a highly coveted item by rug collectors and affluent homeowners worldwide. Their aesthetics transcend trends and can be seamlessly incorporated into a wide variety of home decor styles. In addition to their aesthetic value, they are considered treasured family heirlooms and have the ability to add a touch of elegance and luxury to any room.
A wide range of styles emerged from the different regions, all with specific motifs that have been passed down over generations. Historians decipher which region an antique rug comes from by examining the various motifs that appear on its design. This helps them identify the age and quality of a rug.
Typically hand-knotted, Persian rugs also come in the form of Kilims which are flat-woven. Traditionally used by nomadic tribes, Kilims are known for their durability and longevity. Unlike the symmetrical Turkish knot used in most modern Persian rugs, Kilims use an asymmetrical knot which allows for more fluid, curvilinear patterns.
Among the most coveted Persian rugs are those that date back to the reign of the Safavids, which encompassed the 16th century until the start of World War I. A number of these rugs were woven in city weaving areas, including Tabriz, Kirman, Sultanabad and Heriz. The best city rugs feature floral motifs and finely detailed borders while others are more geometric in style. In the early 1900s, many rug weavers moved away from innovative artistry to adhere to stricter regional patterns and favored harsh modern chemical dyes over natural ones. These rugs do not have the same collectible value as the earlier period pieces.