Tabriz Book Covers

Persian Miniature Art: Tabriz book cover circa 1540
Persian Miniature Art: Tabriz Bookcover circa 1540
Tabriz book cover circa 1540This magnificent cover is currently in the collection of the British Museum and is Plate 1 in Sheila Canby’s book Persian Painting.

I choose to include this in my study because I fail to see the justification for the attribution to Tabriz and 1540 strikes me as a little early.

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Tabriz Rugs: Book Cover Tabriz Carpet
Tabriz Rugs: Book Cover Tabriz Carpet
Tabriz Rug
6’7 x 9’9
Product Type: Original, One-of-a-kind
Size (ft.): 6’7 x 9’9
Size (cm.): 201 x 298
Colors: Red, Green
Woven: Hand knotted
Foundation: Cotton
Pile: Wool
Style: Tabriz
Category: City
Origin: Tabriz Persian Rug
Age: 0-10 years
Condition: Excellent
KPSI: 82
Time: 127 days
1206.5 hours
SKU #: 1700200789

About Tabriz Rugs
Tabriz is an ancient city in north-western Iran, and the most prolific of all carpet centres. The quality in their carpets is generally exceptional, with most on a base of fine cotton, but sometimes on pure silk. There are many unique designs but typically the pattern in a Tabriz rug is filled with dense floral motifs, large palmettes, vases, or vivid hunting scenes or pictorials in the field. These can be with or without a medallion, and geometric designs are also seen. Tabriz has sub-styles as well. These include the restrained and elegant ‘Mahi’ in coordinated borders of subdued tones that fit in anywhere; the Naqsheh, with its plethora of pinks on beige, or very occasionally, black; and the wild but beautiful Tabatabaie, always in touches of orange, lemon green and beige. The finer Naqsheh and Mahi are mostly in highly-priced Kurk wool, and silk is often used to outline lavishly the highlights of the rug.

History & Construction
Tabriz is probably the most prolific carpet-producing center in the world, and certainly one of the oldest. This enchanted city was established more than a thousand years ago. After many invasions, occupations and wars, Tabriz took the ancient techniques of the past and created a huge rug-exporting industry. The finest era of Persian rug weaving was the Safavid Dynasty (1499 – 1722), when the Safavids overthrew the Turks who had occupied Tabriz. They gave the city one of the first Royal workshops, making it the artistic center of Persian culture. In spite of all the later conquests and political restructurings, Tabriz managed to keep these ancient traditions alive. Today, many rugs produced in Tabriz emulate the artististic heritage of the Persian Safavid carpet, and when a designer in any part of the world wants to commission a certain pattern to be hand-woven, Tabriz is the city that he visits. Attesting to their pride in producing fine carpets, the master-weavers of Tabriz often weave their signature into a part of the carpet’s border. These signatures can, of course, be found on extremely fine rugs made in other cities, but a signature on the ‘ceremonial’ border of a Tabriz Naqsheh is the ultimate in formality and sophistication. The material used for the pile of these rugs are wool, silk, or a combination of the two. A beautiful blend of fine Kurk wool and silk is the most common in a fine Tabriz, with wool only used in those of average quality. In the very finest carpets, the foundation of the rug is pure silk instead of cotton, and some even have 18 or 24 karat gold threads woven into the foundation, with 300 to 800 KPSI not being uncommon. The only rugs that can be compared with a fine Tabriz are Isfahans, Kashans, Kermans, Qums, and Nains. Most spectacular are the Nagsheh (some of the many hundreds of beautiful patterns are still owned by private families), the intricate, restrained Mahi (the Decorator’s carpet), or the magnificent Dome, depicting the internal architecture of a mosque.