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History

The history of Oriental Carpets dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. Exemplary pieces prior to the III (3rd) and IV (4th) AD, are extremely rare. However, in 1949, In the Valley of Pazyryk, Mount Altai, located in the frontier between Siberia and Mongolia archaeologist discovered an urn in the tomb of a prince, which contained a magnificent rug preserved by ice dated 500 BC.

Mentioned in the Old Testament and Homer’s Iliad, the weaving of rugs is one of the most ancient crafts in the world, and in the Oriental Cultures (Persian, Ottoman & Chinese), has always been considered a noble form of visual art, much like architecture, ceramics and painting. A master weaver in Persia and Anatolia, was regarded with the same esteem as Rembrandt, Michael Angelo or Vermeer, were in the west.

The art of rug making takes years to learn;

  - the historical background,
  - the elementary and advance techniques of knotting,
  - the appreciation of subtle blend of colours,
  - the power and balance of visual design,
  - the symbolism of motifs and especially the unending patience that is required.

Despite the Moorish invasion in the Iberrian Peninsula in the XII (12th) and XIII (13th) centuries, oriental carpets were only introduced in Western Europe in the XIV (14th) Century through Italian merchants, reaching the luxury status in the XV (15th) Century.

For the Aristocracy, to have a portrait painted alongside an oriental carpet, become a sign of prestige and wealth, as seen in the works of numerous artists of the period such as Simone Martini and even in religious works from Carpaccio and Ghirlandaio.

In the beginning of the XVI (16th) Century, the trade of Persian Carpets reached its peak period and the former tradition of simple geometric designs gave way to natural floral patterns. Workshops were established in Isfahan, Kashan and Tabriz, for decades Persia was the most, influential, artistic, learning centre of the orient, much like Italy was during the Renaissance period.

Other regions played an equally important role:

Turkmenistan (Central Asia) its tribes (Salor, Tekke, Yomud, Ersari Saryk, Chodor & Arabachi) spread the art throughout the area from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains, to the Iranian Mountains (Kopet Dagh) in the West, Afghanistan in the south and the Siberian Steppes in the North.

Turkey today is what remains of the Ottoman Empire, which spread from North Africa, Middle East, Caucasus and Anatolia. Several Normadic tribes (Yaghibedir Yuruks & Yuncu Yuruks) migrated from the Steppes, bringing with them not only their believes and customs, but great changes and new development in Turkish carpet designs.

Till this day, rug making is still considered as one of the highest forms of expression in Eastern Culture and Art. The original craftsman follows up initial concepts with months and years of hard patient works. Each rug therefore stands as testimony to the infinite care, skill and enthusiasm of an artist who may well have worked in a different location and age, whose aesthetic values can still be vividly experienced and shared today.