Tabriz, capital of the north western Iranian province of Azerbaijan, has for
centuries enjoyed a great reputation as a center of Oriental culture. Its
development from a naturally favored oasis at the foot of the volcano Sahand,
to today's commerical center, and descriptions of its artists and craftsmen
could fill many volumens. The tradition that Tabriz was founded in the 8th
century by the wife of Harun al-Rashid, will not bear historical scrutiny. The
origins of the town stretch far back into antiquity.
all conquered this fulcrum between east and west and made it into one
of the great cities of their empires. But it was in Shah Abbas the
great (1586-1628) that Tabriz found its most cultured parton.
Wars and servere natural catastrophies such as devastation by earthquake,
have never overwhelmed the town and its people over the centuries.
In the Middle Ages, Tabriz saw a blossoming of the fine arts which
influenced the development of carpet design. Manuscript illuminatiors,
silk embroideres, miniature painters and metal workers all inspired
the carpet weavers. The early 18th century saw the end of the Safavid
Empire and the decline of the town. Craftsmanship fell into decay.
- Genghiz Khan (c.1162-1227)
- Timur (1336-1405)
- Shah Ishmail I (1501-1524) -- Founder of Safavid dynasty
- Shah Abbas (1586-1628)
Large variations, up to 12 sq. and above.
Dark red and powerful blue predominate, with ivory as in contrasting color.
The typical Tabriz is a medallion carpet of baroque style appealing
to the European taste in art. Patterns in endless repeats of rosettes
and palmettes (Shah Abbas pattern) are also part of the local repertoire.
Designs from all other area are also woven.
Warps are mostly cotton, wefts either cotton or wool.
Turkish or Persian knots, up 2,500 knots per sq. dm
Wool, generally clipped short to medium high, occasionally silk. The
wool is somewhat dull, as is most obtained in Azerbaijan.
New products are generally good furnishing carpets but with some
variation in quality. Old and antique traditional carpets, in most
cases finely woven, are rare in the trade, and antique silk carpets