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rug in my possession Small Hamadan with lattice design, rosettes, palmettes, lilies

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Small Hamadan rug withj lattice design—click to see enlarged (jpeg opens in same browser window)


On a dark indigo ground, a pleasant arrangement of flowers and medallions set in a vertically oriented lattice system that resembles a tree design (compare P.R.J. Ford, Oriental Carpet Design, pp.106). On the central axis, roughly octagonal intented medallions carrying rosettes surrounded by brackets echoing the rosette outlines alternate with large rose-coloured blossoms. Medallion ground colours also alternate between red and blue.

Four further vertical axes flank the central one, two on each side. They are all linked through horizontal and diagonal branches of the lattice system. The horizonal parts carry characteristic rounded inwards-pointing hooks where they meet the central axis and frame a small diamond extention of the central stem. This must be one of the nicest and most characteristic features of this design.

The lattice system supports three types of large flowers near the edge of the field, which are arranged in an A-B-A-C-A-B-A-C sequence: brown lily in profile; rosette-like blossom; brown lily; large irregular and serrated blue-and red palmette; brown lily, etc. The blossoms are angular decendants of the vegetal motif inventory of Persian court carpets. The prominent red asymmetric interior motif of the palmettes remind me of a bird, or a teapot, or candle holder, I can#t work it out. Some motifs, like the eight-petaled rose-coloured blossoms on the central axis, are similar to rectilinear Kurdish motifs like Stone's motif K-28 herki Lobed Medallion (compare Peter Stone: Tribal & Village Rugs. The Definitive Guide to Design, Pattern & Motif, p.198.)

The lattice is well done and well spaced, lending a feel of structure or organisation to the flowers which do not really meet up with the lattice but rather, hover above it.

The simple border system composed of three minor borders of equal width (red-blue-red, the red ones containing a string of botehs) seems nearly invisible against the impressive field design.


The rug measures ca. 183 x 103 cm (6ft. x 3ft.4in.). Hamadan weave, no depression, single cotton wefts, fat, irregular and loosely (hand)spun cotton wefts of varying thickness. The weaving is coarse, the horizontal knot count is h.24/10, the vertical knot count is v.30/10, i.e., 720 knots/dm2 (or, converted to to inches, h.6,v.8 = ca. 48 kpsi) This results in a V/H ration of 1.25. One-cord selvedges wrapped in rose-coloured wool (possibly not original). No kilim ends remain.


Not so good. A few lines loss at upper end, lower end a bit ragged. Two cuts at the lower left end, one from the side, the other from the end. Needs to be fixed, maybe a repair project of mine. In some central areas, the foundation shows. Other parts have still decent pile, also the entire border area. I have hand-washed the rug with a neutral detergent, so it is now clean.


A limited but well balanced palette of organic and clear dyes, including a muted madder red and a rosier shade of the same red (also used for outlining of some motifs); beautiful hues of light, mid and dark indigo blue; a nice duff reed green; off-white; and chesnut brown.

More images

lattice Hamadan - field

lattice Hamadan - central field

lattice Hamadan - left field

lattice Hamadan - lower central field

lattice Hamadan - lower half

lattice Hamadan - lower left cuts

lattice Hamadan -  pile detail

lattice Hamadan -  right field

lattice Hamadan - top half

lattice Hamadan - top left

lattice Hamadan - top right

lattice Hamadan - back side view, weave

Last update: 09 December 2009 | Impressum—Imprint