This publication sets out to investigate a significant yet overlooked era of carpet weaving in Iran. The time-span stretches between two highly significant dates, which are exactly 150 years apart. The first, 1722, marks the downfall of the Safavid dynasty. The second date, 1872, represents the formal start of the modern carpet revival, when increased demand attracted European attention and changed the industry's structure. Prevailing opinion has hitherto been that in-between not much happened and that there was an overall decline in carpet production. Thankfully that is not the case, otherwise this book would not exist. New evidence brings to light a period of design evolution, thriving workshops and prestigious commissions. Through careful study of documentary sources, artworks in different media but first and foremost the hand-knotted rugs themselves, the glory of this forgotten age of the Persian carpet is brought to life.
Foreword; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Background; Documentary Evidence for Carpet Weaving; Carpet Depictions in Persian Art; Design Migration and Attribution; Carpets of the 18th and 19th Centuries; Carpets in Iranian Society; Carpet Production and the Economy; Conclusion; Appendix.