Gabbeh rugs in colorful, totally abstract styles, are a recent innovation and one of the best things to happen to the oriental rug in a long time. What can be bolder than a plain orange diamond medallion set on an equally undecorated slate reserve, further set within abrashed red triangular corners? How informal and yet how rigorous in the best design sense. ‘Gabbeh’ mean ‘unclipped’ and antique Persian tribal examples have a shaggy pile in natural sheep wool tones, but modern pieces are more compact with shorter, erect piles. These pieces are totally abstract and value impact over ornament. The square format allows the central motif room to expand in the viewer’s eye.