Fine Antique Qashquli Qashqa’i Rug

Circa 1850
Southern Persia, Persia
Qashquli tribe
195 cm x 126 cm
6'4" x 4'1"

An extremely rare and early piece, this Qashqa’i rug is representative of the strong influence of India on south Persian weaving. The involvement of Qashqa’i tribes with Nadir Shah during his invasion of India in the eighteenth century is historically known (see J. Opie, Tribal Rugs (Portland 1992), p. 92). Millefleurs niche rugs are among the finest Qashqa’i workshops weavings, copying almost exactly their Mogul prototypes. In this example, the characteristic four-armed medallion centers a soft rose field decorated with clusters of directional floral motifs, which are typical of early Mogul rugs of the Shah Jahan period. The blue corners are adorned with motifs taken from millefleurs rugs and zoomorphic motifs typical of south Persian rugs, while the stylised vinery ivory border appears on certain silk pile rugs of the Deccan region of southern India. The use of the softest pashmina wool and the presence of silk wefts confirm this rug’s strong relationship to Mogul weavings. Asymmetrically knotted pashmina wool pile on cotton warps and silk wefts.

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