Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

JBOC's Notes on Oriental Rugs

Barry O'Connell's Oriental and Persian Rug Notes

Antique Kerman Rugs and Carpets
Hagop Manoyan Antique RugsNazmiyal Antique Rugs


Kerman or also Kirman rugs fit into my "Persian Rugs the O'Connell Guides" section as a group of related rugs of rugs centering around the city of Kerman and that part of Kerman province. These rug are predominantly woven by weavers who speak Persian and who are Shia Muslims. Large and small workshops as well as home production are the rule following a fairly narrow range of designs.

Marco Polo praised the carpets of Kerman as a marvel to see in 1270. His description is still apt today. Kerman is the capitol city of a province of the same name in Southeastern Iran. It is a city of about 2 million people about 1000 kilometers southeast of Tehran. For about the last 100 years a major source of high grade Persian carpets. Today Kerman produces highly distinctive carpets primarily in highly floral medallion plan and medallion all over designs.

In the older carpets the all cotton foundations have a depressed foundation with the first and third wefts rigid and the second sinuous. This has caused some to incorrectly attribute the Vase and Sanguszko carpets to Kerman. John Chardin traveling in Persia from 1673 to 1677 noted Kerman province especially Seistan as the home of the finest Persian Carpets

Antique Kerman Persian Rug

Antique Kerman Persian Rug 

Courtesy of the Nazmiyal Collection New York City's leading dealer of Antique Oriental Rugs
A valued friend of Persian carpets in Kerman

President Mohammad Khatami has named Seyed Hossein Mar'ashi Vice President and chairman of the Organization of Cultural Heritage and Tourism. Mar'ashiis well known to people in the world of Oriental Rugs with his important work in revitalizing the Kerman rug production.

I had the chance to speak with Tom Atiyeh of Atiyeh International, LTD. who credits Vice President Mar'ashi with being very instrumental in the return of Atiyeh International to Kerman. Atiyeh praised Mar'ashi for his crucial work in aiding the economic progress and development of Kerman. After a long history in Kerman Atiyeh was one of the many American producers who withdrew from Iran after the fall of the Shah and the resulting difficulties.

See my Notes on Vice President Seyed Hossein Mar'ashi

Vice President Seyed Hossein Mar'ashi Photo Credit mellat.majlis.ir/archive

Antique Lavar Kirman Leaders of the World carpet Early 20th c.Sotheby's lot 350

Antique Lavar Kirman Leaders of the World carpet Early 20th c.Sotheby's  lot 350

Antique Lavar Kirman carpet, first quarter 20th c lot 145

Antique  Lavar Kirman carpet, first quarter 20th c lot 145Antique pictorial Kerman rug late 19th C. Sotheby's lot 48

 Antique pictorial Kerman rug late 19th C. Sotheby's lot 48

Kerman Rugs: Antique Kirman Carpet Doris Leslie Blau 1920 c. Sotheby's lot 49
Kerman Rugs: Antique Kirman Carpet Doris Leslie Blau 1920 c. Sotheby's lot 49

Kirman rugs sorted by aproximate age:

Kerman Rug, Kerman proper and the surrounding area, Iran.

  • Size: All sizes made up to 15 by 30
  • Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left.  100 to 400 knots per square inch. Grades: 70/35  - 160 kpsi, 80/40 - 210 kpsi, 90/45 - 265 kpsi, 100/50 - 330 kpsi.
  • Yarn Spin: Z.
  • Warp: White cotton
  • Weft: 2 or 3 shots cotton. 3 shots is seen in the older
  • Pile: 2 wool singles.
  • Ends: Overhand knots with warp fringe.
  • Selvages: 1 cord plain wool.
  • Handle: Light - medium.
  • Further Notes:

    Raver or Laver Kerman became known for the best Kerman Persian carpets.

    Raver was a town 120 miles from Kerman where the Atiyeh family owned a large number of looms. Through the 20th century the Atiyehs were a major or perhaps the major producer of Kerman carpets. It only stopped when due to the Islamic revolution and ensuing difficulties they shifted production to China.

    Other villages besides Raver include Mahan, Jupar, Rafsanjani, Kupayeh district, Chatrud, Khanuk, Hudk, Sarasiab, Dewziah, Seredar, Mazabad, Gok, and Zarand.

    The best books on Kerman rugs are The Persian Carpet by Cecil Edwards and Oriental Carpet Design. by PRJ Ford. Edwards praised Kerman carpets extensively and felt they were the best of Persia and best in the world. he noted that due to the use of roller looms they were weaving up to 15 by 30 foot carpets.

    Edwards noted that the top designers were:

    • Mohsen Khan,
    • Hassan Khan (his son) died 1945.
    • Ahmed Khan (his Grandson)
    • Ahmed Khan,
    • Ahmed Ali Khan,
    • Zeman Khan,
    • Sheikh Hossein,
    • Azizollah,
    • Ali Riza.

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  • Books & Articles - Sources on Kerman Rugs:

    Kerman Links:

    J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

    Copyright Barry O'Connell 2004 - 2006.
    Last revised: March 22, 2009.

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