Senneh Kelim Antique 240x147cms


Sanandaj, the modern day Senneh, is the capital of Iranian Kurdistan. The carpets and rugs and kelims are still called Senneh.

When Afghan tribes destroyed the great Persian Safavid Empire, sacking Esfahan and other cities in the 1720’s, they left Kurdistan alone. These mountain peoples proved impenetrable.

Then for over a century the Kurdish Khans had full autonomy and a fruitful period of fine weaving ensued, carrying on the regal traditions of the Safavid courts, but informed by their own nation’s uninterrupted ancient aesthetic.

Consequently the fine Senneh rugs and kelims of the 19thand 20thcenturies represent an unbroken tradition of fine weaving. Whereas in the rest of Persia fine city weaving stopped, and only the tribal and peasant weaving continued.

By the 2ndhalf of the 19thcentury the new rich of an industrialised Europe and USA wanted fine city Persian rugs and a new industry was started to cater to this clientele. Hence connoisseurs refer pejoratively to these floral rugs as “revival’ weaving.