CARPETS x. Afsharid and Zand Periods
Although it is probable that magnificent silk-and-brocade rugs in the style of the Safavid court manufactories were no longer produced in significant quantities, it seems reasonable to assume that production of less luxurious wool rugs continued in many traditional centers, even though on a smaller scale and mainly for domestic consumption.
CARPETSx. Afsharid and Zand Periods
The rug production of Persia in the Afsharid (q.v.; 1148-61/1736-48) and Zand periods (1163-1209/1750-79) has been difficult both to identify and to document, owing to the lack of extant examples and the absence or misuse of historical and archival evidence. The generally held view has been that, in the political and economic decline resulting from the invasion of Persia by Nāder Shah Afšār, beginning in 1141/1727, rug production came almost to an end (Edwards, p. 5). Such concomitant factors as the destruction of urban centers, forced migrations, and other large population movements have been considered the immediate causes of the apparent establishment of new production centers and the diffusion of carpet designs, especially in northwestern Persia and the Caucasus. This explanation, which has caused much confusion in carpet studies, is based on the commonly accepted notion that Nāder Shah resettled large groups of carpet weavers both in the Caucasus and in west central Persia and Fārs (Martin, pp. 84, 86; Survey of Persian Art VI, p. 2356 and n. 2; Yetkin, I, pp. 90-91).
A careful review of 12th/18th-century histories, travelers’ accounts, and trade records suggests a somewhat different picture of contemporary Persian carpet production, however. Historical evidence suggests that forced migrations during this period were instituted largely in order to remove troublesome elements from the western frontier; Nāder Shah thus sought to shift certain western tribal groups to Khorasan while at the same time securing the latter area against enemy incursions and providing himself with manpower for his campaigns. These migrations did not have serious long term effects, however, for, according to a recent study, the resettled populations returned to their places of origin after Nāder Shah’s death in 1160/1747 (Perry, pp. 208-09).
Although it is probable that magnificent silk-and-brocade rugs in the style of the Safavid court manufactories (see ix, above) were no longer produced in significant quantities, it seems reasonable to assume that production of less luxurious wool rugs continued in many traditional centers, even though on a smaller scale and mainly for domestic consumption, rather than for export. It is also likely that tribal rugs were still woven and that felts and other types of nonpile floor coverings, both local and imported, were still in demand.
To be continued ...
Types of Jajim
Tapestry in Iran