An Antique ‘Ferahan’ Carpet, Arak Region, Central Persia, circa 1900
The central field of this large carpet – with its length almost double its width – comprises a complex overall pattern of stylised palmettes, blossoms, leaves, and vines in vibrant sky-blue, dark midnight-blue, cinnamon, ivory, and pale green against a rich madder-red ground. Despite the regularity of the motifs in repeating rows the carpet retains a warmth and elegance, offset against the sky-blue spandrels with further scrolling vines and rosettes.
This spectacularly arresting carpet (3750 mm x 2200 mm) fully displays the artistry and weaving expertise needed to execute the intricate colour variation and motif repetition in a carefully controlled design that had evolved in weaving workshops over hundreds of years in the region around Arak in central west Persia. Rug designs from neighbouring areas are not always clearly distinguishable with rugs identified as Ferahan, Sarouk, Mahal, and Karaghan sharing a legacy of similar designs motifs.
These large-format carpets have been popular in the West since the late nineteenth-century, especially in England where their elegance and restraint suited large rooms in stately homes.
Tonal variations in individual colours – abrashes – the result of hand-dyeing the wool yarns in batches contribute to the carpet’s charm and ‘texture’. Interestingly, the once lively green areas, particularly in the guard stripes, have largely receded to black due to the erosive effect copper salt has on the wool dyed in this colour.
Overall, the carpet is in superb condition for its age.
DimensionsMax length: 3750mm / 147½"
Max width: 2200mm / 86½"