Notes on Oriental Rugs by Barry O'Connell

Persian Rugs: Guide to Shahsavan Rugs

Not a great video but i had something to say, still do.

Persian Rugs: Guide to Shahsavan Rugs

Shahsavan Rug 19th c. or earlier Rippon Boswell Lot 66

When I wanted to understand Shahsavan Pile Rugs I read everything I could get my hands on and I made it a point to see as many rugs attributed as Shahsavan as possible. That left me fairly confused so I did the only sensible thing and contacted Wendel Swan for help. Wendel R. Swan has taken a serious look at Shahsavan rugs and came up with these criteria for attribution:

Nomadic Shahsavan pile rugs can be distinguished from other wool-on-wool symmetrically knotted weavings in the region by:

  1. relatively simple field and border designs consistent with their flatweaves
  2. fine red, salmon or ivory wefts, but not blue or brown
  3. the frequent use of camel hair in the pile
  4. the occasional use of cotton in the wefts
  5. in certain groups or cases, sinuous warps caused by weft ease

Shahsavan Rugs: The Thompson Carpet Magic Shahsavan Rug Ardabil Province mid 19th c lot 42

Shahsavan Rugs: Shahsavan Rug Ardabil Province 19th c. or earlier lot 66

Shahsavan Rugs: Shahsavan Rug Ardabil Province 1st half 19th lot 49

Shahsavan Rugs: Shahsavan embroidered saddle cover circa 1900 Lot 30

Shahsavan Rugs: Hashtrud Shahsavan Animal Trapping c. 1900 Lot 88

Shahsavan Rugs: Shahsavan Rug Ardabil Province 1st half 19th c lot 102 with Moghan bird-border

Shahsavan Rugs: Long rug by the Shahsevan of Moghan Ardabil Province c 1900 lot 266

Shahsavan Rugs: Shahsavan Rug Ardabil Province 19th c c lot 101

Shahsavan Rugs: Zarand Shahsavan Kilim c. 1900 Lot 103

Shahsavan Rug(?) From Dennis Dodds

Shahsavan Rug(?) From Dennis Dodds

Pile rugs are a subject of controversy. Such leading lights as Dennis Dodds and Wendel R. Swan are exploring the Shahsevan pile rug attribution while other notables such as Raoul "Mike" Tschebul reject the possibility of Shahsevan pile rugs. Each of us can make his own determination about the existence of Shahsavan rugs, personally I found the Swan argument most compelling.

Take for instance this rug (left) that would normally be attributed to the Sarab area. The Sarab area is the area of Mount Sabalan or Savalan as rug experts like to call it. It seems reasonable to suggest that this is a tribal rug and the tribes of the area were the Sabalan Shahsevan. Is it reasonable to attribute this rug to the Shahsevan rather than the non-Shahsevan villages of the reason? needless to say the debate continues.

Shahsavan Rugs Back and Selvages of the Ed Krayer Shahsavan Runner

Back and Selvages of the Ed Krayer Shahsavan Runner

Shahsavan Pile Structure
Shahsavan Pile Structure

Shahsavan rugs are woven with a Turkish knot and a fairly flat back. Here the warps are rigid and the wefts are sinuous. As you can see in the sketch the warps are heavier than the wefts. It is woven with symmetrical knots. There is two shot of weft between each row of knots.

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