Antique Persian Afshar | 3ft 11in by 5ft 1in, circa 1850

 

 

 


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This is yet another example of the Toronto collectors’ unerring ability to select rugs that are distinctively individual from virtually every other rug of their type. This little rug, for instance, stretches the boundaries of the classical Afshar pattern language, along with discarding the tribe’s traditional color palette. Many Afshars use a series of botehs (the precursor of the paisley design) as their field design, but none that look like this! They are presented in a freeform, almost deconstructed manner, with each distinct from the others. Also, don’t miss the secondary motifs scattered across the golden field, including minuscule trees, kites, hanging lanterns and elemental “endless knot” patterns. The border is also completely original, with a series of exotic flower heads against a continually abrashed copper-pomegranate base.

Although the rug is notably over 150 years old, its remarkably good condition with good pile and only minimal wear indicates that it has been stored or hung on the wall for most of its life. Its extremely silky wool, in combination with the patina of great age, gives the sense that a light is illuminating it from behind.