U-3759 - Antique Persian Sultanabad Rug
12ft 08in X 16ft 08in
“Sultanabad” is one of those magical Oriental rug types, something to conjure with. There are real Sultanabad's, those moderately coarse carpets woven in the Sultanabad/ Arak (Markazai) area/province before the First World War, and there are plenty of Mahal wannabees, rugs from the same area but lacking the expansive design and mellow palettes of the originals. Many, perhaps most, were woven under the aegis and at the order of the famous British firm of Ziegler. Originally these carpets were created for the middle class, but today designers cannot get enough of them and the market has moved upscale. Cotton foundations are standard, along with asymmetric (Persian) knots and a reasonably flexible handle.
Our Sultanabad, probably a Ziegler creation, shows the incredibly popular abrashed (natural color variation) soft madder rust open field anchored by a royal blue laterally extended octogramme medallion suspending straw shield palmette pendants. Leaves and palmettes decorate the medallion. The small ecru corners are stepped. The straw sand main border shows giant ragged blue palmettes, and a close fill of flowering tendrils and stems. The open field gives the carpet an expansiveness which would be compromised by additional pattern. Plain fields push out and look bigger, busy patterns move inward and appear smaller. Open fields and giant elements are a Ziegler Sultanabad characteristic. If this is not a Ziegler, it certainly is a good approximation. All in all an outstanding piece from the 1890-1900 period in good condition.