Sultanabad Rugs

The city of Sultanabad (which is now known as Arak) was founded, in the early 1800’s, and became famous as a center for commercial rug production in Iran. The term Sultanabad Rugs (as opposed to “Mahal carpets“) is mostly a term that is used to reference the “better” rugs that were woven in Arak. During the late 19th century, the firm of Hotz and Son and Ziegler and Co. established a manufactory in Arak / Sultanabad whose sole objective was to produce Sultanabad Rugs to meet the western demands. They even brought over western designers to conform to the western tastes of the time. This was the first instance of a hands-on western influence in the industry (which until this point was sheltered from western insights). Many of the Persian Sultanabad rugs that were woven by Ziegler and Co featured more updated colors as well as larger scale all over patterns which some in the art history world attribute to being the initial formation of the Arts and Crafts movement, in which William Morris had a pivital roll as an oriental rug collector and aficionado.

While both the Sarouk Farahan and Sultanabad Rugs were woven in the same general geographic area the two are quite different. Although the rugs of Sultanabad were not always considered purely Persian, they have become classics in their own right and very valuable in recent years. The rugs of Sultanabad are extremely desirable in the modern marketplace and sought after by high end interior designers.
The popularity of Sultanabad rugs go back to the mid-19th century. These carpets were designed and produced primarily for export to European consumers, as was the case with the Ziegler & Company firm. While the Sultanabad rugs do share some of the Persian design repertoire, they tend to have a larger, more supple weave (and accordingly exhibit a bolder, more large scale design). The design of Sultanabads tends to be more closely associated to those of Heriz or Serapi. That said, the line work of Sultanabads are more curve-linear and classical while they do maintain a more casual and tribal feel. Ziegler and Co. Sultanbad rugs will often have more warm color palettes which also tend to resemble those of the earliest Sarouk Farahan Persian carpets. Ivory Sultanabad antique Persian rugs often possess a charming naiveté, along with a palette based in undyed sheep’s wool, in hues of ivory, cream and beige. Often with latticeworks of vinery and flowerheads in soft pastels, a secondary drama of shading is played out in marvelous color striations otherwise known as ‘abrash’. The finest and hardest to find of both the ivory ground pieces, and the entire Ziegler & Co. Sultanabad Oriental carpet group uses allover designs of spaciously placed, extremely overscale blossoms, asymmetrically arranged across a sparsely adorned field. Designers in Sultanabad tinkered with the more traditional Persian color palettes. The diverse style of Persian Sultanabad rugs gives buyers the opportunity to choose between light and airy neutrals or richly colored carpets that provide a somber, grounded feeling. In the modern home environment, Sultanabad rugs have the ability to unite the old with the new. Though rooted in history, these weavers reinvented the old Persian designs and adapted them to suit the more Western tastes, such as including subtle neutrals, vibrant reds and clear blues that create a regal Western appearance. Unique color combinations, such as tourmaline pink paired with oxidized green, are also found on rugs from Sultanabad, which highlights their tendency to reinvent the traditional. Carpets inspired by the designs of Sultanabad are still manufactured for Western consumers today. Antique pieces from the area sell for top-dollar at auction. Come and stop by our gallery, Rugs & More to find Fine Antique Sultanabad carpets at 410 Olive.

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Showing 1–30 of 75 results