Antique Oushaks Through Different Lenses
Oushak is a town in West Central Anatolia south of what is today Istanbul Turkey. Rugs have been produced there since the 15th century primarily for personal use in daily life. In the late 19th century the town of Oushak became a major center for the commercial production of large decorative rugs for the international market. Most likely due to easy access to high quality wool and natural dyes from Oushak and the near by towns of Balikesir and Kutahya. The foundation of antique rugs from Oushak are wool and the pile is knotted with particularly soft wool. They are usually double knotted increasing their durability. The design influence is Persian but the use of scale is tribal or nomadic.
About Doris Leslie Blau
At Doris Leslie Blau, we have an enduring commitment to offering our clientele a diverse selection of the highest quality antique carpets and exclusive custom designed rugs. Located in the heart of New York City, we have served as purveyors and trusted advisors to designers for over 45 years. Among our clients are Architectural Digest’s “Top 100 Designers” and some of the finest up-and-coming young interior designers around the world. We pride ourselves on bridging the gap between art, design and architecture by making rugs a key element of interior design through our quest for superior quality, while providing the highest standards of service.
Antique Rugs & Carpets:
The fundamentals of weaving antique rugs have not changed for centuries; many of the earliest known techniques and materials are still in use in the major rug producing regions of the world today such as Turkey, China, Persia, India, Morocco, and Europe. Antique rugs can stand on their own for historical importance and cultural significance. Each culture ensures the longevity of their design iconography through the making of the rugs. Most high-end antique carpets,especially those from Persia or India, have traditionally been made in sophisticated urban settings where a high value was placed on such fine artistry. The more tribal and casual carpets were woven by nomadic tribesmen and women as they had access to coarser material and didn’t have the advantage of an established rug loom.
The Golden age of rug weaving in India, Persia and Turkey occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries due to the Industrial revolution in Europe. For the newly emerged merchant class at the time, oriental rugs primarily functioned as beautiful status symbols of wealth and good taste.Most of the rugs in the Doris Leslie Blau collection were produced during this period.
Antique rugs can vary in color, size, design, and material. The current trend in buying antique rugs is towards neutral colors which can be used in any environment. Although antique rugs come in a myriad of colors, every rug has the potential to anchor a room and to create an inviting ambiance. After all, Edgar Allen Poe once wrote that the soul of the apartment is in the carpet .
The Golden Age of Persian carpet weaving occurred during the Safavid dynasty, when Shah Tahmasp (1524-1587) began establishing court factories for carpet production. Prior to this time, the production of rugs in the region was primarily a village craft, defined by use of simple rectilinear patterns. Following the Afghan invasion in 1722, there was a significant decline in Persian carpet production until the late nineteenth century when European demand for Persian rugs contributed to a major revival in the art form. Antique Persian rugs can be divided into two main categories city (formal) rugs, which were made in workshops, are known for their finely-woven and often intricate designs, and village rugs (informal), which are widely varied in their unique blends of city and nomadic motifs and techniques. The most important formal rugs come from Tabriz, Kashan, Kirman, Doroksh, Khorassan, Meshad, Tehran, and Sarouk and the most well-known villages included Malayer, Sarab, Bakhtiar, Bakshaish, Sultanabad, Bibikabad, Senneh, Fereghan, Heriz, Hamadan and Shiraz. For today s interiors, city rugs tend to work well in formal settings, such as New York offices or apartments, whereas informal nomadic rugs are often excellent choices for more casual spaces such as rooms in country houses.