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rug not in my possession Hamadan Khamseh rug ca. 1900

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Hamadan Khamseh rug—click to see enlarged view

Attribution and design

This Khamseh Hamadan rug similar to the design published in Cecil Edwards' The Persian Carpet (a book with a much wider coverage of the Hamadan area than can be found in other general rug books) as no. 95 - both show a Herati pattern across field and medallion, the difference being that the Edwards example has corner pieces and a light ground bearing a dark medallion, while this piece has a light red medallion on dark blue ground. I wondered whether the lighter tones in the bottom half of the rug may have been caused by long exposure to light, but the break is too sudden for that (it is equally visible on the back side). The design must have continued after a longish break (perhaps forced by seasonal activities), perhaps with another batch of wool, and following the evidence form the structural analysis in was very likely continued by another person—the rug suddenly becomes deliberately wider and also more tightly packed upwards of the abrash break.

The hexagonal medallion studded with hooks and double hooks, as well as the arrow-shaped medallion pendants are typical design features for Hamadan rugs from the Khamseh area to the north of the city of Hamadan. Particularly attractive is the wide and spaciously drawn blue-ground Herati border (sometimes referred to as 'samovar border').


The rug mesures 194 x 127 cm (6ft.6in. x 4ft.2in). The horizontal knot count is h.28/10, the vertical knot count is different in the upper and the lower part: looser in the lower part with v.32/10, tighter in the upper part with v.39/10 (taking 36/10 vertical as a rough average this means 1008 knots/dm2 or, converted to to inches, h.8,v.10 = ca. 70 kpsi). Wefts are light blue cotton (one shot) of varying thickness. The weaver who did the bottom part sometimes used two weft threads in the same shed; not to the weaver in the upper half, who packed the rug more tightly, increased width (may be this is the result of pounding down the wefts). You can actually see that the 'samovars' in the wide border are more squashed in the top half.


Very good condition with light even wear, the plain-weave bottom end has very minor fraying in a few places. One small repair right at the lower left edge in the outer secondary border done with wool which has since faded, not very obvious.


A very pleasing harmonious and nicely abrashed palette of all-natural dyes: dark indigo blue field, madder-red medallion, a medium indigo blue as main border ground colour and in Herati pattern details, a nice clear yellow yellow and a good medium green, with small white details and dark brown used for outlining.

More images

Hamadan Khamseh rug

Hamadan Khamseh rug - medallion

Hamadan Khamseh rug -,edallion closer

Hamadan Khamseh rug - corner

Hamadan Khamseh rug - medallion pendant

Hamadan Khamseh rug - border detail

Hamadan Khamseh rug - pile detail

Hamadan Khamseh rug - back of rug

Last update: 11 November 2009 | Impressum—Imprint