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rug no longer available Small Luri rug, Veramin, ca. 1900–1920

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Attribution and design

Guessing by its design, with a spacious madder red field and striped diamonds set into a bold stepped shape, and its part-cotton ground, the most likely attribution is to settled Luri in the Veramin area. The scrolling rosette border however shows a Kurdish influence. Veramin, south of Tehran, is an area where many tribal groups have mixed, so attribution is difficult.

The design is simple but very bold and effective. The striped diamonds seem to float in the dark blue space separated from the field by a triple stepped outline. The small subsidiary diamond motives constitute a link between medallions and field, which shows some loosely scattered small blossoms in the central area. Four small quadrupeds in blue flank the medallions — what are these? Ant-eaters? Dogs with bushy tails? I can't tell.


The small rug measures 3ft.10in. x 2ft.2in. (117 x 66 cm). Warps are tan and light brown wool, wefts are cotton (two thin shots). The weave is tight, warps are just very slightly depressed in the lower three quarters and interestingly, more so in the top quarter, where we see a ribbed back texture. The number of pile threads is also increased in the top quarter: if you look carefully, this translates in a slightly more elongated upper part of the top diamond, lending the two diamond diagonals meeting at the top a slightly concave shape. Across the rug, the pile inserted varies between 1 and 3 threads without any apparent reason; two threads is most common. This would account for the somewhat wobbly (or call it charming!) drawing. Maybe this was a beginner's rug, mother supervising daughter? Mostly 2 thin sinous cotton wefts, sometimes 3, may be even 4 (hard to tell due to the tight weave).


All colours seem based on natural dyes. A limited but effective palette composed of the dominating madder red of the ground, a very dark indigo blue used in the stepped medallion grounds, the off-white used as main border background, and a light tan colour (walnut husks?) used only in the open centres of the diamonds. There is also a light blue and a nice clear yellow used on the stripes of the diamonds and in the secondary diamond motives. Two of the border rosettes near the top are rendered in a darker tan tone, a colour like that of the warps, possibly the same natural shade of wool.


Nice condition, low but fully extant pile, longer towards the sides and ends, lower in the centre. Some isolated specs of white weft are visible. No holes, tears, rot, odour, colour-bleeding, etc. The ends have a bit of kilim but are just slightly unravelling, should be stopped. I have carefully hand-washed the rug so it is nice and clean.

More images

Diamond luri - upper half

Diamond luri - cetnre

Diamond luri - lower half

Diamond luri - upper right

Diamond luri - upper medallion

Diamond luri - lower medallion

Diamond luri - diamond

Diamond luri - lower left

Diamond luri - pile detail

Diamond luri - back side showing weave

Last update: 05 September 2007 | Impressum—Imprint