Designed for a regional aristocratic clientele, the Ferahan region of West Central Persia developed a distinctive rug weaving tradition in the 19th century that blended geometric influences from the surrounding tribes and villages with more refined, curvilinear design, often in an incredibly artistic manner. Ferahan carpets were one of the rug-making genres displayed at the Vienna Exhibition of 1873, which ushered in broad Western interest in the Oriental carpet.
The best 19th century carpets from the Ferahan area were extremely finely crafted, using very high grade, lustrous wool that illumined a wide, sumptuous palette inspired by nature and jewel tones. Rugs in sizes from 3×5 to occasional palace sizes and corridor carpets were woven in both workshops organized by master weavers and on loom in homes.
The Ferahan area produced two distinctive styles, known generally as Ferahan Sarouk (or Feraghan Sarouk) and simply Ferahan (or Feraghan.) Some rugs combine traits of both styles, making an exact attribution impossible.
Antique Ferahan Sarouk rugs usually feature commanding central medallions that create exquisite “islands” in the middle of the field and have a heavier pile and unusually sturdy fabric. Their use of intentionally asymmetrically placed motifs and unexpected color shifts gives them an individuality that is prized among connoisseurs.
Ferahan carpets often offer intricate allover patterns, most frequently on a glowing midnight indigo ground and woven in densities of up to 800,000 knots in a 4×7 rug. Some pieces have borders based in unique celadon to apple green hues and all have closely shorn pile and a fine, “handkerchief” handle.
In contrast to the exactitude of pattern in Persian city rugs (known as “the art of absolute perfection”), Ferahan region rugs have a more freeform, improvisational quality in both their colors and designs. In the best antique Ferahans and Ferahan Sarouk rugs, each petal and leaf is slightly unique in its size, colors and patterning, making living with them a fascinating process of discovery.
Our extensive collection of quite hard-to-find 19th and turn of the 20th century Ferahan and Ferahan Sarouk carpets offers a wide gamut from this famed rug-making tradition, reflecting an entrancing artistry.