antique Persian silk rugs

A pair of persian silk kashan prayer rugs

antique Persian silk rugs.

It was an early morning back in December 2008. I was going through a backlog of emails as well as checking various auction houses looking for some inspiration. As an experienced carpet trader, the temptation of forking out thousands of pounds for something before viewing is a crazy idea. However, curiosity and perseverance on that morning lead me to a pair of extremely fine handmade Persian silk Kashan rugs from early 20th century. It appeared that they were belonging to a private collection which remained with the same family for two generations. I am always an admirer of silk rugs, particularly those from a similar era as the pair silk rugs . In my opinion, Persian silk Kashan rugs from the late 19th/early 20th century are of the highest quality of craftsmanship. It because their colours are rightly chosen and are incredibly appealing to naked eyes. Also their silk foundations are heavier and denser, something that has been missing in recent silk rugs.

The auction was held in Canada which made me conscious of time zone difference. I frantically started making general inquires about the rugs. As well as trying to secure a telephone bid at the last minutes.

Buying an item thousand miles away without viewing seems like a crazy idea. But the overwhelming feeling of missing out on such a rare opportunity makes you to re-visit your principles. Whether it was expertly bought or pure luck, the rugs turned out to be one of the most worthwhile yet expensive purchases. With many years of experience in the field this extraordinary purchase, was perhaps the most satisfying.

I’m not quite sure if I’ll be prepared to do the same thing again. The outcome next time may be entirely different. Nor I do recommend buying  rugs online to my clients. Unless they are returning customers who bought from the website before. By far the best approach is to go through extensive consultation process to find the right carpet.

The pair silk Persian Kashan rugs have since been sold to a new home but the memory of that early morning will stay with me forever.


Reference to antique Persian silk rugs :


Close up images of antique pair Persian silk Kashan rugs.

Pair of fine silk Persian Kashan rugs
antique handmade Persian silk rugs circa 1920.
Decorative silk Kashan rugs
Decorative antique Persian silk rugs with having eye-catching colours






Persian silk carpets
Image showing high quality silk in Persian rugs.
Antique persian silk Kashan rugs circa 1920
Antique persian silk rugs circa 1920 with densely woven foundation.

Antique white colour Tekke Turkmen carpet

Antique Tekke Turkmen rug after restoration.

Antique Tekke Turkmen carpet in white colour: Of various tribes who have been involved with carpet making in South and Southwest of Turkestan, the name of Tekke always stands out. Almost all of the Tekke Bokhara rugs are based on so-called elephant Foot or Gul design, in which incidentally seen in the majority of Afghan rugs. The unique feature of original Tekke rugs is that their colours are not uniform. They are innumerable shades of the same colour, known as Abrash. This is a feature of natural dyes which gives liveliness to the rug and cannot be obtained in machine spun yarns. Most Tekke rugs are made of deep blood red colours. These colours normally reflect the surroundings the dwellers live in and the harsh conditions in which they are subjected to. However, occasionally there are few pieces made, which have defied this philosophy. The white Tekke Turkmen rugs belonging to the early and mid 19th century are rare and almost impossible to source. That is why the discovery of these rugs even if in poor conditions can still create huge excitement.

Of course, a dilemma remains whether, it worth to restore these rugs, or just accept their used conditions. In my humble opinion, it all depend on, how passionate we are about restoring these rugs and what is our ultimate goal. Many other questions can also be asked, like the cost of restoration or even if they can fully be repaired. In order to remove any ambiguities with regards to these questions, let look at below images belonging to a lovely Tekke Turkmen room size carpet in white field sourced from vintage home in Scotland. The images before and after restoration showing an incredible transformation.

Before Restoration:

Tekke Turkmen white carpet made circa 1880 with faded field and worn areas holes and stains before restoration.
Antique Tekke Turkmen carpet made circa 1880 demonstrates faded field and worn areas including holes and stains just before restoration.
End kilims worn off with tears as well as tatty pile.
Tekke Turkmen carpet with its end kilims worn off with torn fringes.
Visible holes like the one in the photo with many stains.
Above image shows visible hole areas of old stains and extensive wears into the Gul motifs.
Areas of heavy wear with the white field became faded and look dull.
Areas of heavy wear with the white field became faded and look dull.
End Kilims and fringes subjected to years of usage with many tears and stains.
End Kilims and fringes subjected to years of usage with tears and stains.

After Restoration:

after restoration only few localised wear and stains remaining.
after the restoration, this antique tekke Turkmen carpet has only a few localised wear and stains.
Process of re-piling as well as restoring parts with the identical wools.
the Process of re-piling as well as restoring parts with the identical wools.
Tatty and torn end Kilims replaced with new fringes woven with both ends secured.
Tatty and torn end Kilims replaced with new fringes woven with both ends secured.
The original colours have returned in this splendid antique white tekke turkmen rug.
The original colours have returned in this splendid antique Tekke Turkmen carpet.
Restoration of field and retuning the vibrant colours.
Restoration of field and return to the vibrant colours.

The important aspect of restoring antique rugs is that during restoration many discoveries are found. For example, how texture and the weave in this Turkmen are different from other Tekke rugs. It seemed its foundation was heavier. Even the original wool felt slightly coarser but the overall weave still fine with high density. Both red and white colours look deeper and more antique looking than other Tekke Turkmen rugs.

Above discoveries show, how fascinating and unique these tribal rugs are. As such it would be a shame to not bring back their true identity by having them professionally restored.


Isfahan Bethlehem Church

painting depicting Khaje Petros an Armenian Merchant who built Bethlaham Church

Isfahan Bethlehem Church : Bethlehem Church is situated at the heart of Julfa area in city of Isfahan. It was built by Armenian Merchant named Khaje Petros, during Safavid dynasty under ruler king Abbas I. Khaje Petros, who also was buried at the same churchyard, was congregated prayers at the church. He helped Armenian migrants in many ways during difficult times by creating jobs so they can integrated with Persian ways of life. The paintings on the walls as well as ceramic tiles inside the church demonstrate the artistry belonging to 16th and 17th centuries at its best . The paintings such as last supper, Christ and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee and the expulsion from Eden, depicting the life and sacrifices of Jesus. The ceramic paintings however demonstrate various patterns of floral and decorative motifs in exquisite colours. It is from these paintings, that designs of fine handmade Persian rugs have been adhered. Fabulous spandrels, foliages and tree of life patterns which have been woven in many carpets in Persia, were all copied from these kinds of designs. One of the interesting ceramic paintings found inside the church is the inscription in Armenian, dated back to 1627 and 1711. Truly a beautiful place where a cross-reference between East and West culture can easily be felt. It was a pleasure to revisit this marvellous historical place and share with you a few close up photos.

Painting depicting Jesus and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee
Painting depicting Jesus and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee.
Inscriptions in Armenian date back to 1627 and 1711 and installed in remembrance of those who performed charitable work for church
Inscriptions in Armenian date back to 1627 and 1711. It was installed in remembrance of those who performed charitable works for church.
Painting depicting the born of Juses
The scene showing the birth of Jesus in this fantastic painting.
Painting depicting the life of Jesus
Church of Bethlehem in Isfahan showing painting depicting the life of Jesus including other angels.



This Ceramic tile painting made around the early 16th century shows the tree of life design, which can be seen in many antique rugs belonging to the early 20th century
This Ceramic painting was made early 16th century. It shows the vase design featured in many antique rugs over the past few centuries.
Tree of life Silk Kashan rug
Identical Vase design seen in this antique silk Persian Kashan rug.
Ceramic tiles in Bethlehem Church showing paintings of trees and floral motifs which made early 1600 century.
This ceramic painting shows, trees and floral motifs.
Patterns of tree and motif design in this antique Isfahan rug initiated from the ceramic paintings belonging to 16th and 17th century.
The Patterns of tree and floral motifs similar to left hand picture shown in this antique Isfahan rug.
The full painting depicting the tree of life design
Another example of  tree of life design painting made on ceramic and currently available in Bethlehem Church.
Example of tree of lif design in this handmade persian silk Kashan rug
Example of tree of life design can also be seen in this silk Kashan rug.
Ceramic tiles showing the vase painting belonging to almost 5 century ago.
Ceramic showing the vase painting belonging to Safavid dynasty. .
This beautiful early 20th century antique Isfahan rug has got its vase design from ceramic tile painting belonging to Safavid dynasty.
This beautiful early 20th century antique Isfahan rug has its vase design initiated from ceramic tile painting belonging to Safavid dynasty.
Ceramic painting showing off this splendid spandrels design which can be seen in many Persian rugs
Splendid spandrels design which has been featured in many Persian rugs and was inspired by paintings in church of Bethlehem in Isfahan.
The all over design of this Persian silk Kashan is based on ceramic paintings seen in Bethlehem church in Isfahan
The Persian silk Kashan which its design is based on all over open field of spandrels.
Ceramic painting showing off floral motifs and bands of foliage
Ceramic painting showing off floral motifs and bands of foliage.
Persian green handmade silk and wool rug
This Persian Isfahan handmade silk and wool rug, demonstrates the central floral motif similar to ceramic painting.

Imperial Rugs Website

Imperial rugs sourcing selection of decorative and antique handmade rugs, carpets and Kilims.
Imperial rugs antique.
Imperial Rugs Website.

Imperial Rugs Website: When I was a little boy, I used to torment my father by hiding behind the stacks of rugs in his big warehouse. To my naivety it was an ideal place to have fun and less care about those wonderful Persian rugs! Coming from the third generation of carpet family, I was always surrounded by beautiful carpets. I remember we had extra large Tabriz carpet in our dinning room and pair of cream coloured Persian Kashan Boteh design rugs furnishing adjacent sitting room. You then would walk into the small cosy corner room, we used to call Shah Neshin “ in Farsi meant Kings location” and you would notice a splendid handmade silk Isfahan rug. This room was where we needed permission to enter, as it was furnished purely for my father and his male friends. He would entertain his friends with the game of backgammon and a glass of vintage whiskey. We were told everything in that room, especially the Isfahan silk rug were very precious and therefore we were forbidden to turn it into our hide and seek play. As a child however, I noticed that my mother’s favourite rugs were those fabulous and colourful antique long runners, which were covering our staircases. Our home was open planned four storey building, where the staircases looked like snakes and ladders and made of Italian marbles. My mother was decorating these runners by putting various live plants on them. You would only need to step back and look at the whole place with admiration. In fact, having handmade carpets scattered around the house was something that we were accustomed to. But having a father in carpet business had its own pitfalls as well! by the time we were used to the colours and patterns of a rug and felt its present in the room, it would have disappeared and replaced by another one. I could never figure out if this was a good or bad thing? I always thought buying a specific rug meant for it to serve couple of generations. Once worn out and unusable, it then would replace by new one. The other side of coin, however, was that we would never get bored having a same rug for too long.

As I grew older I realised the true value of this rich heritage. My father used to say “ If you take care of the rug, It will take care of you”. I know now what he really meant all those years ago. It means that by cherishing and looking after these beautiful things, they would always take care of you both in financial and pleasure sense.

Imperial rugs website sourcing and selling some of the most unique antique and decorative rugs, carpets and Kilims. For further information please email us at info@imperialrugs.co.uk or contact us on 0044 2084 558056

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