Antique Agra Rugs haves been a major center of area rug and carpet production since the great period of Mughal art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Antique Agra rugs present elegant allover designs alongside medallion or centralized patterns. They have the rich pungent palette of classical Indian and Persian carpets as well as soft, cool earthy tones.
Agra Rugs are difficult to classify as they vary in size, design, and composition. Although they often exhibit open fields with smaller medallions and guards, they can also be woven with all-over designs. Similarly, the fields are usually composed of olive greens, blues, fawns, and tans, but can also be red or other colors. They are usually woven with wool, but can also be found with cotton.
The designs tend to be naturalistic renderings of flowers, particularly the lotus and rose, and other botanical elements including vines, shrubs and trees, especially the cypress. Rows of flowers and flowers in vases gracefully fill the field as prominent patterns
Agra rugs use a soft color palette. The field is often yellow, saffron, beige or light green, although deep reds are also used. Motifs are woven in a variety of colors including blues, greens, burgundy, black and browns. The artisans’ skills with vegetable dyes resulted in unusual colors such as lavender, shades of rose and several hues of gold.
Located in the Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, the city of Agra is most widely recognized for the Taj Mahal, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s mausoleum for his third wife. Agra has also been a large center for rug weaving since the 16th century. When Agra first became the Mughal capital in 1566, it also established its presence as a rug weaving center. The Indians themselves had never had much need for large carpets and the craft was introduced relatively late.
During the 17th century, a number of skillful Persians were called in to impart their weaving knowledge in India. Large carpet factories were started in Lahore; the patterns as well as the knotting closely resembled Persian work. A number of antique carpets from this time are now found in museums throughout Europe and America. Production of fine rugs continued here through the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 17th century after which most antique Agra rugs were categorized as Indo Isfahan weaving. Now, Agra carpets are considered some of the most decorative pieces internationally.