Because of widespread imitation, it can be difficult to ascertain that a modern carpet is a Tabriz without a close inspection. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that modern Tabriz rugs have continued to diversify, although traditional designs remain popular. But in the end, what matters is the quality of the rug not its origin, and Tabriz rugs, like other Persian city rugs, still dominate the high-end market.
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The following is a short guide on Tabriz rugs. Please contact us if you wish to sell yourTabriz rug.
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Antique Tabriz rugs are named after the city of Tabriz, presently the capital of the province of East Azerbaijan in north-west Iran. Tabriz is an ancient city that has seen its share of history, devastated in turn by invasions and earthquakes. It became the capital of Persia for a brief period at the beginning of the Safavids reign (16th - 18th century AD). During that time it established itself as a carpet weaving center and produced some of the finest carpets ever woven including the Ardabil and the Rothschild carpets. However, with the few exceptions that have survived from that era, most antique tabriz rugs available today date from the late 19th century.
Tabriz had a prolific carpet industry at the turn of the 20th century when the rug business saw a revival, and trade with the West skyrocketed. The region produced carpets in a wide range of designs, colors, sizes, and quality to fit all tastes. Formal, stylized, or floral natural patterns in wool as well as silk can all be found, with central medallions, garden, prayer, or all-over designs. Antique Tabriz carpets are therefore not always easy to identify just from their look, although some standard designs and color palette, such as those of Hadji Jalili carpets, are readily recognized from Tabriz. Other features that can help identify Tabriz carpets include the wool which is usually more rough to the touch than that of other city rugs like Kashan and Kerman, while the pile is usually cropped short and the knot is Turkish or symmetric.
Hadji Jalili produced the finest quality of Tabriz rugs in the late 19th century. The rugs were actually produced in the town of Marand not far from Tabriz and it is not clear what the role of Hadji Jalili was exactly, whether he was himself a weaver, producer, or owner of a workshop. There is no single characteristic that identifies these antique tabriz rugs, except for their top quality and their use of subtle warm earth tones. As often happens in these circumstances, the name Hadji Jalili became a brand applied rather liberally to fine antique Tabriz rugs without much concern for accuracy.
The price of an antique 19th century Tabriz is mainly determined by the density of the weave, sophistication of the design, color harmony, and condition. At reputable auction houses, these rugs can range from a few hundreds for a low grade rug to several thousands at the higher end.