Description of Design and History
When one speaks of top quality Persian carpets, the names of Isfahan and Kashan are often linked. Kashan lies halfway along a line drawn north from Isfahan towards Tehran. It is quite certain, however, that Kashan, with its favourable climate, at the western edge of the great salt desert produced and exported carpets of the highest artistic craftsmanship and cultural value over several centuries. The “Vienna Hunting Carpet” in the Austrian Museum of Applied Art,the Ardabil in the Victoria and Albert Museum ,London, and the famous silk carpet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, are the best known of the surviving monuments of an epoch which ended with the weaving of the so-called Polanaise carpets-some of which were commissioned by the nobility of eastern Europe. Today Kashan produces velvet, silks and carpets as well as interesting Ceramics and metal works. Within its formal compositional and chromatic context, this magnificent Kashan carpet demonstrates a conspicuous flexibility of ornamental invention that remains consistently compatible with the traditional classicism of the most elevated Kashan aesthetic ideal. Of most immediate effect within the design plan is the “Haji Khanumi” border of alternating weeping willows and vase arrangements, a decorative theme that counteracts in a coherent overall design statement with similarly thematic devices in the field. Equally impressive is the exquisite sapphire blue of the medallion and corner spandrels, this is given added stimulus by the unusually small scale of these elements which serves to concentrate their jewel like character. A well spaced field pattern is organised with a sweeping sense of movement that contrasts richly with the inner detail of its ornaments. Knotted in the finest Merino neck-wool, with a closely compacted high gloss surface texture this is the Kashan Carpet of the most sumptuous grandeur.