Antique Persian Motasham Kashan | 4′ 5″ x 6′ 7″, 3rd Quarter, 19th Century




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The part of me that deeply loves to tour the grand historical residences of Europe is similarly enraptured by early Mohtasham Kashan rugs for their use of unfathomably fine knotting, opulent, incredibly silky lamb’s wool and the most delicately drawn motifs. The only disappointment is that among the very finite number of great Mohtashams that were woven, only a precious few remain in superb condition.

This 150-year example excels on all fronts–its glistening wool, petit point pattern language, outstanding condition and overall surprising virtuosity. It also offers an extremely evocative color palette. I’m immediately drawn to the exceedingly rare, varied green hues in the four corner pieces. In masterful fashion, the weaver striated the greens from mint to celadon to jade. As someone who has viewed a seemingly countless number of art-caliber rugs over a 40+-year period, seeing colors as spectacular as these truly sets my heart ablaze.

I believe the weaver was inspired by the astonishing colored skeins of wool dyed he or she had access to, and strove to create a pattern language that perfectly reflects the entirely organic, nuanced character of the hues. The result is an Impressionist reflection of nature in full blossom. Don’t miss the marked abrash in the greens and teals of the guard stripes, perhaps expressing the rug maker’s unabashed joy in experiencing the endless variety in the bounty of the natural world.

We are constantly updating the collection gallery, replacing rugs that have been sold with others from this monumental group. Revisit the gallery often using this link: