Manchester Wool Kashan Rug, ca. 1915
In 1921 and 1927, my grandparents were missionaries in China. My mother and aunt were born there. They had to flee because of the civil war in China in 1927. And when they returned, they brought many artifacts with them, and things that they had purchased in China, and this was one of them.
So you're under the impression that this rug probably was Chinese in origin all this time?
Okay, well, I can tell you that it is in fact a Persian rug, comes from the city of Kashan. It was woven in the first quarter of the 20th century. One of the identifying factors of Kashan rugs from this period in time is the quality of wool that's utilized. This is woven with Manchester wool from the United Kingdom, taken from the finest Merino sheep. So the wool has a very soft, supple handle to it. Between 1890 and 1930, since Kashan is in a desert area in Persia, and generally had poor quality wool, they imported the wool, and this very fine wool was used, up until 1930, when the Great Depression came. And at that point the British and the German carpet companies that had interests in Iran defaulted on them. And so the Shah at that period decided that he was going to nationalize the carpet industry. And post-1930, all of the wool used was Iranian wool, which is not as fine and not as soft as the Manchester spun wool. So we have this rug from the early 20th century. It has a very crisp, curvilinear pattern. It has a few small areas of wear, which detract slightly from the value. But it also has a very unique feature that I haven't seen in any Kashan rug before. It's a salt-and-pepper- type effect to the field color, and it gives it a very pleasing, subtle effect. And it's all highlighted by this palmette border. And I think it's a very artistic rug. This rug retail would sell in the vicinity of $5,000. If the rug were in better condition, it would easily sell for $10,000.
So I'd like to thank you so much for bringing it in today.
Oh, thank you. That's really a surprise. Thank you.
You're very welcome.
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