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PLATE TWENTY-EIGHT


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The largest group of Safavid survivors (after the controversial Indo-Isfahans) are the Vase Carpets, most of which appropriately depict no vases. F.R. Martin assigned them to Kirman on the basis of their structural similarities to 19th century carpets from that city, and the standard more modern work on the subject, May Beattie's "Carpets of Central Persia", attributes them to an area so large as to comprise half of Iran . They were surely produced in many different locations, two other possibilities being Joshagan and Isfahan.

The Vase-carpet structure seems to be the standard weaving signature of the 17th century, although the earliest examples perhaps date back to the 16th.

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 27

The designs are virtually illegible from the reverse side, although a major subgroup, known as Sanguszko carpets, are said to be readable from the back. But when a break occurs in the web, figure 27, it does offer a glimpse of the weave that reminds one of the 19th century carpets produced in Kirman or Isfahan.

 


This Plate's design demonstrates a three-plane lattice leaf design in the tradition of the compartment rugs with the compartment in the field demarcated by large serrated leaves and complex scrolling vines. Another interesting technical feature is that most of the three plane leaf-lattice design examples were woven with a thick underlay or backshag, figure 28.

This is an archaic feature exhibited by some of the earliest knotted fragments excavated at Loulan, an archaeological site located in Chinese Central Asia.

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