Mr. Akbar Herischian the president of the Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association was in Los Angeles few days ago. He came to visit me. We spoke and exchanged some ideas on how to promote Persian carpets in the big but slow U.S. market.
Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association is based in Tehran and has around 600 active members. I have been on its board of directors for almost 18 years.
Ardabil Carpets: An Overview of Exceptional Works of Art
Possibly two of the largest, and oldest carpets in the world, Ardabil carpets are cherished pieces of art, history and elegance all wrapped up in one – better yet, two. With gorgeous design and intricate elements, Ardabil carpets have spawned numerous look-a-likes. According to various accounts, the Ardabil carpets came into existence in northwestern Iran in the 16th century. Former Iranian ruler, Shah Tahmasp wanted the carpets to be created for the shrine of his ancestor, Shaykh Safi in the town of Ardabil. Now, almost 500 years later, the fine details and awe-inspiring beauty of these carpets make them extraordinary treasures.
Impressive design Measuring approximately 13' 5" x 23' 11" (Los Angeles) and 17' 6" x 34' 6" (London) and made up of silk foundation (warps and wefts) and wool pile, the Ardabil carpets are finely constructed with a variety of patterns and colors, such as red, blue and yellow. A gold medallion is at the center of the carpets, surrounded by smaller medallions located in the four corners of each rug. The medallion is very large, but not over powering. And although the sheer size of the carpets is mind boggling, it is the expertly weaved design running throughout each carpet that has everyone amazed. Since the carpets are so enormous, much care and attention to detail had to be involved when creating such masterpieces.
Distinctive details Two lamps are expertly positioned above and below the center medallion. These lamp images give the appearance as if they were hanging from the medallion. And depending on where you stand, one of the lamps looks larger than the other. This rectangular-shaped carpet also contains an endless amount of additional scrollwork. This includes a variety of images of flowers or greenery, which also provide unmistakable appeal. These images dominate a large portion of the carpets and make up the deep blue background within the main area of each carpet.
Current location Until the late 1800s, there were still two complete Ardabil carpets existing in the shrine of Shaykh Safi. Unfortunately, there was an earthquake and the carpets were damaged. As a result, one carpet was used to repair the other one, leaving one, full-scale Ardabil carpet and a smaller, border-less carpet. As of today, one carpet is currently housed at the V&A Museum in London. There, it lies flat in an enclosed glass case. The carpet is only lit periodically to prevent any color damage from lighting. The other carpet is located in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Ardabil carpets have been through a myriad of difficulties over the centuries. What began as simply a royal commission, these carpets have become some of the most renowned carpets of their kind. And regardless of a complex history, natural disasters and near destruction of these attention-grabbing masterpieces, Ardabil carpets are truly in a class by themselves.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe Certified Rug Specialist (CRS) 310-770-9085 www.rugidea.com
For a career day and to familiarize students with different professions, I spoke before the kids in a public middle school in New York City about rugs and how they are made. If new generation knows more about rugs, they begin to appreciate art and culture and then they distance themselves from violence and crime.
We received a Persian Isfahan rug which was badly water damaged. The red color had run into the Ivory border. We did stain removal and our customer was very happy with the outcome and said she would comeback again.
Rug Blog is a wonderful way to communicate with those who care about rugs of any kind. In this blog, I, Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay) write about my everyday experience with Persian, Oriental and area rugs, and the people that I meet and talk with. I live and work in Los Angeles, where I have a rug gallery. I love my job. It is full of excitement. I hope you enjoy your visit and share your ideas and comments with me.
Rug is my PASSION. I grew up with it since it was my family business and my father's job. I have a bachelor's degree in Industrial Management, a Master's degree in Business Administration, MBA and a second Master's degree in Educational Planning and a Ph.D. in Educational Planning from the University of Southern California, USC in Los Angeles. I am a Board member to the Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association based in Tehran. I am a member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles, TGLA. I am a Board member to the Textile Museum Associate of Southern California, TMA/SC. I am also an Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers, ASID Los Angeles Chapter with more than 1,700 members. I am also the Editor in Chief of the "Iranian Hand Woven Rug" quarterly. I have a rug gallery in Los Angels. I am also the president of the Iranian American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. I have an active rug blog: http://rugmaster.blogspot.com/. In this blog, I, Dr. Khosrow Sobhe write about my everyday experience with Persian, Oriental and area rugs, and the people that I meet and talk with. They may be customers, friends, designers, or just ordinary people. I meet them in my rug gallery on 1655 South La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles (Tel. 310-770-9085) or else where.