Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs, Antique Persians Carpets Boston,NY
Quadrifoglio Gallery is a nationally regarded source for antique Oriental rugs and contemporary natural dye genuine Persian carpets. Located 15 miles west of Boston’s Beacon Hill and Back Bay neighborhoods in historic South Natick, Massachusetts, Quadrifoglio Gallery owners Helen and Douglas Stock work with individual clients, as well as interior designers, across the United States who are searching for exceptional quality antique rugs at fair prices. Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs also carries a line of new, hand woven natural dye Persian rugs from what we feel is the best contemporary rug production in the world.
Highly respected as scholars in the field of antique Persian rugs, and known for their interest in helping clients learn more about antique Oriental rugs, Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs owners Helen and Douglas Stock are 26 year members of The Art and Antique Dealers League of America, a New York City based consortium of approximately 100 of the leading antiques dealers in North America; and of the international antiques organization CINOA. Douglas Stock is a long time member of the Antique Carpets Vetting Committee at The Winter Antiques Show in New York City and has served as committee chairman three times. Helen and Douglas Stock have spoken at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. on three occasions and have written numerous articles on antique rugs for magazines and trade publications. Douglas Stock has served on the boards of both The Art and Antiques Dealers League and the Antique Dealers’ Association of America.
Quadrifoglio Gallery exhibits at select antique shows and Oriental rug shows, including the International Conference on Oriental Carpets -ICOC, the most recent United States location for the ICOC antique rug fair having been Washington, D.C.. Quadrifoglio Gallery also exhibits at the ADA Historic Deerfield Antiques Show in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs specializes in 19th century antique Mohtashem Kashan rugs; Fereghan Sarouk rugs; Bidjar rugs and runners: Heriz and Serapi rugs and carpets. Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs also offers a wide selection of antique Persian and Caucasian tribal rugs, bags and bag faces.
Please, also visit our webpage that features our new, natural dye Persian carpets from the contemporary rug production we feel is the best in the world. From that production, we carry new, natural dye Bijar rug; Heriz rugs; Tabriz rugs; Fereghan rugs; contemporary tribal Kashkuli rugs in both traditional and modern designs.
For rug sales or questions about our antique rug cleaning, restoration and appraisal serves, Please, call:
A FEW OF THE MAJOR TYPES OF ANTIQUE AND CONTEMPORARY RUGS WE SPECIALIZE IN ARE MENTIONED BELOW. FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF ANTIQUE ORIENTAL RUGS TYPES, PLEASE VISIT OUR GLOSSARY PAGE
Antique Bakshaish rugs and carpets were woven in the Heriz district in northwest Persia’s Azerbaijan Province. The village of Bakshaish seemed to produce rugs and carpets before some of the other villages from the district did, and carpet production seems to have ceased there around the time of the First World War. Bakshaish carpets are distinguished by their charming and sometimes archaic designs. They arguably have the most character of any pieces carpets produced in the Heriz district, sometimes featuring human figures or birds along the lines of what one might expect in tribal rugs. Bakshaish weavers tended to select earth tones including sky blue, salmon, brown and camel. The weave of Bakshaish carpets tends to be pliable, with some pieces even woven on wool foundations. A range of designs is seen, from the Herati design to graphic medallion designs and all-over designs that can almost resemble Sultanabad carpets. Since few room size carpets were produced further north in the Caucasus Mountain region of southern Russia, of all Persian carpets available in room size formats, Bakshaish carpets tend to most closely approximate the aesthetics of antique Caucasian rugs .
Antique Bidjar rugs were woven in the province of Kurdistan in northwest Persia. Often referred to as “The Iron Rug of Persia”, Bidjar rugs are notable for their densely packed construction which generally features two, three or even four weft (horizontal foundation) threads that are compressed during the weaving process. This results in a stacked (double knotted) weave that is dense, although not necessarily stiff, and results in a very durable textile. Bidjar rugs from the second half of the 19th century are typically woven utilizing wool warp (vertical foundation) threads and wool wefts. Finer examples from the early 20th century tend to be woven on cotton warps, though wool wefts are still sometimes used. More loosely woven pieces that reflect more of a cottage industry style, as opposed to the finer Bidjar workshop rugs and carpets, can feature wool warps and wefts well into the 20th century. The wool in Bidjar rugs tends to be of extremely high quality, a result of using wool from sheep raised in this mountainous area. Natural dyes are typically used through the 1930s, though synthetic reds and pinks can certainly be seen in pieces that appear to be as early as the 1880s. The Bidjar design nomenclature is very broad. The classically (Safavid Dynasty) derived “Herati” design of stylized diamonds, leaves or fish, and small flowers, is the most often seen design in Bidjar rugs, but weavers also used the “Harshang”, “Mina Hani” and “Afshan” designs, as well as dramatic “Open Field” formats. Bidjars rugs can be fairly coarsely woven and quite geometric, or very finely woven and elegant. Since Bidjar is a village, the designs are rarely, if ever, as truly floral and curvilinear as rugs from cities such as Tabriz, Keshan or Isphahan. Regardless of the type of antique rugs and carpets dealers might specialize in from the standpoint of commerce, virtually any dealer who truly appreciates antique Persian rugs admires antique Bidjar rugs as an art form and for their technical merits in terms of weave.
The term “Caucasian Rugs” derives from the Caucasus Mountain region of southern Russia and is a broad, catch all category that would include antique Kazaks include Karachoph, Bordjalou, Sewan and Lori Pambak types; Karabagh; Genje; Lenkoran; Talish; Shirvan; Marasali; Kuba; Zeichur; Perepedil; Karagashli; Surahani; and Dagestan rugs, among others. Please, visit the Kuba, Shirvan and Kazak sections for more specific information.
Antique Fereghan rugs were woven in the central Persian province of Sultanabad. Generally thinner and more pliable than the rugs known as “Fereghan Sarouk” rugs, Fereghan rugs are finer than the other types of rugs and carpets from this region known as Sultanabads or Mahals. Antique Fereghan rugs typically come in smaller rug sizes and in long and wide runner sizes known as “gallery carpets” or “Kellehs” (typically about 5 feet by 10 feet or slightly larger). Antique Fereghan rugs most typically feature navy blue fields and are often decorated with the classical Safavid format known as the “Herati” design, or variants thereof. A distinguishing feature of both Fereghan and some Fereghan Sarouk rugs is the yellowish green color that often oxidizes and corrodes leaving a beautiful sculpted effect. Antique Fereghan rugs in the “Dozar” (approximately 4.6 x 6.9) size sometimes feature a semi-open field with Cypress trees or large, stylized floral forms. This classic format can be among the most beautiful of all the designs in the nomenclature of Fereghan weavers.
Antique Fereghan rugs were known as “The English Gentleman’s Carpet”, as they often appeared in the homes of the British aristocracy in the late 19th century. Antique Fereghan rugs tend to feature high quality wool. Although Fereghan rugs can be quite finely woven, they are not packed as densely as the Sarouk rugs also from this province and, hence, are of medium durability. Large Fereghan carpets were woven but in limited numbers, the majority of larger decorative carpets from this area being of coarser weave and falling more into the Sultanabad or Mahal categories. Over time, I have seen very fine rugs from the Fereghan area that, on a visceral level, strike me as having been commissioned by the Anglo-Swiss firm Ziegler & Company for the British or other Western markets. I do not have any particular corroboration for this theory other than that the colors appear similar to larger Sultanabad carpets attributed to Ziegler but the weave is of much higher quality. This suggests the possibility of a stratified production, with both fine rugs of the Fereghan type and coarser carpets of the Sultanabad and Mahal types both produced by Ziegler.
In addition to Fereghan Sarouk rugs and carpets, several other types of antique rugs were made in Sultanabad (later called Arak) Province. These included antique Lillihan rugs and antique Mahajaran Sarouk rugs.
Antique Lillihans were woven in Sultanabad Province and often resemble later Sarouk designs with detached floral clusters. Finer, earlier Lillihan rugs were sometimes attributed to Armenian weavers and can be quite beautiful. Lillihan rugs have a single-knotted construction and a pliable weave.
Antique Mahajaran Sarouk rugs bridge the Fereghan Sarouk period and style with the later “Commercial” Sarouks of the 1920s – 1940s. Mahajaran Sarouk rugs are renowned for their spacious, elegant drawing, dense weave and excellent wool quality. Navy blue field examples can be especially beautiful.
Antique Jozan Sarouk rugs were technically woven to the west of Sultanabad Province in the eastern section of Hamadan Province. However, they employ a double-knotted structure and stylized floral decoration somewhat reminiscent of Fereghan Sarouk rugs, albeit with a heavier handle, and hence are colloquially grouped in the Sarouk rug category.
Antique Heriz rugs, including rugs from Heriz satellite villages Bakshaish and Karaja, were woven in Northwest Persia’s Azerbaijan Province. Antique Heriz rugs are generally well made and durable, but they are not finely woven related to village counterparts from Sarouk or city counterparts from Kashan or Tabriz. The appeal of antique Heriz rugs is more in their warm, beautifully saturated natural dyes and charming geometric patterns. Antique Heriz carpets from the last quarter of the 19th century are often referred to colloquially as antique “Serapi” carpets, though no village of that name exists. These tend to have more open space than Heriz carpets from the first quarter of the 20th century, and they are often more finely woven, as well. Heriz rugs and carpets follow a similar design evolution, or more accurately devolution, to antique Persian carpets from other regions. Namely, the circa 1880 examples tend to reflect a better use of open space plus more rectilinear articulation of design elements than examples for circa 1910; and circa 1910 examples tend to be artistically superior to examples from circa 1925. As Heriz carpet manufacturing moved from the turn of the late 19th century to the early 20th century, the carpets tended to have more crowded designs and increasingly coarser, heavier weave. There are notable exceptions and excellent Heriz examples continued to be made into the 1920s, but the general trend reflects the trajectory of most Persian rug types in a loss of artistry of time progressed.
A product of the Heriz district, antique Bakshaish carpets are known for their soft palettes and folk art-like patterns. Generally fairly coarsely woven and with a pliable handle, production of antique Bakshaish carpets seems to have ended by the early 20th century. Some small antique Bakshaish rugs were woven by the production seemed primarily focused on room size decorative carpets , which today are highly prized and can be among the more expensive types of antique Persian carpets.
The other notable village that produced antique carpets in the Heriz district was Karaja. Antique Karaja rugs feature a single knotted construction, thus departing from the general Heriz paradigm of double-knotted (depressed warp thread) carpets. Early antique Karaja carpets from the 1860s and 1870s can be among the most beautiful carpets from the entire Heriz area, with incredible colors that include yellow, sky blue and green; and with naive, sparsely decorated designs that are as at home in modern interiors as they are in period rooms. For more information on antique Karaja rugs and carpets, please see the Karaja listing below.
For more information on antique “Serapi” carpets, please view that dedicated section.
Finely woven city rugs from Keshan (sometimes spelled Kashan) in central Persia. Keshan has a weaving tradition dating back to the classical Safavid Dynasty period (circa 1501 – 1722). Antique Keshan rugs from the 19th century are invariably woven using cotton or silk warps and cotton or silk wefts. Wool is never used in the foundation. Pile is generally wool, though a reasonable number of silk pile rugs were also woven.
The earlier type of commercial Keshan rugs; i.e., circa 1870 to 1910, are often attributed to the “Mohtashem” workshop (please, see the section on Mohtashem Keshan rugs). As a rule, the older and finer a Keshan is, the thinner the pile was cropped and the more stylized and geometric the articulation of the floral motifs is. For example, a Keshan woven circa 1875 would typically be finer, more supple and more spacious in design than a Keshan from circa 1890 – 1900 which would be, in turn, thinner and finer than a piece from 1910. As is the case with Fereghan Sarouk rugs, as well, as Keshan weavings moved away from the 3rd quarter of the 19th century and into the late 19th / early 20th century, the designs became denser and more curvilinear and the weight became heavier.
Keshan rugs from the 1920s and 1930s (and later) are completely different to the earlier examples. Although still finely woven, the designs became very busy and floral. Ivory fields were often seen in 19th century examples, where 1920s and 1930s vintage carpets tend to feature navy blue or red fields.
In addition to the early “Mohtashem” type Keshan rugs, finely woven pieces called “Debir” Keshans were woven in the first quarter of the 20th century. These tend to be heavier than the Mohtashem types, which seemed to phase out around 1910.
There are also early 20th century Keshan carpets referred to as “Manchester” Keshans, due to the soft wool that was processed in Manchester, England.
Some Keshan carpets from the first few decades of the 20th century were sometimes “washed and painted”, though that practice was far more prevalent with Sarouk carpets from that era.
Mohtashem Keshan rugs and carpets are perhaps the most highly prized and valued of all Persian rugs from the late 19th century, rivaled perhaps only by the occasional Tabriz. Condition is, needless to say, a critical part of the valuation.
In addition to our focus on exceptional antique Oriental rugs from the 19th century, Quadrifoglio Gallery carries a line of contemporary natural dye Persian carpets that we feel represent the highest quality Oriental rugs currently produced anywhere in the world. These rugs are genuine Persian rugs, not copies from another country. Our contemporary Persian rugs are hand woven, utilizing natural dyes and hand spun wool. We offer a selection on contemporary natural dye Persian Bidjar small rugs, room size carpets and runners; Heriz rugs; Fereghan rugs; and contemporary Persian natural dye Kashkuli rugs, many of which offer modern rug designs.
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