Hajji Jalili Carpet
Tabriz NW Persia Azerbaijan Iran
Mostly good Condition. Full pile with some areas of light wear. Newly bound selvedges.
Circa late 19th Century. Size: 565x370cms
Pure wool pile of approximately 5,250,000 hand tied knots. Warp is on two levels with a 90deg. warp depression. Weft two shoots per row of knots, one blue one white.
The main border has multiple cartouches of well-rendered Koranic Verses in a cursive script. Difficult to accomplish by other than a virtuoso weaver.
The Tabriz Bazaar is the largest in the Islamic world. For hundreds of years trade between Persia, China and Europe all passed thru Tabriz. With the rise of foreign military power influence, particularly Russia and Britain, and culminating in the opening of the Suez Canal, what was traditionally an economic powerhouse declined. Refugees from the Caucasus flooded the area, and a state of lawlessness ensued.
The people of Tabriz were part of the great Ak Koyonlu Turkic horde that moved west out of Central Asia 500-800 years before. Just 300 years earlier their tribe, the Qizil Bash, unified Persia and began the great Safavid Dynasty and cemented Shia as the state religion. Tabriz became the glorious Persian Capital, one of the richest, most civilized cities in the world.
By the second half of the 19th Century the new Industrialized wealthy of Europe favoured the great Safavid Dynasty Persian Carpets but as this stock of 200-year-old carpets dried up new ateliers started producing revivals of the great Safavid period carpets.
Tabriz experienced an artistic revival and successfully reasserted itself into the forefront of the rug-making world. The most important figure in this reawakening of Tabriz was the master weaver Haji Jalili.
Haji Jalili is famous for his unique approach to rug-making. Whereas most of these revival carpets were made in strong red and blue hues, his preference for distinctive tertiary colour harmonies has stood the test of time. Extra fine knotting was required to correctly portray his open patterns of succinctly drawn motifs. The fine mellowing of hues showcases the enduring Art of the Persian Carpet.