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rug no longer available Hamadan rug, probably Qombâd village

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Hamadan rug, probably Qombâd village


A single-wefted rug with an all-cotton foundation th edesign of which is fairly close to Willborgs No. 26, sporting the same small quarterfoil medallion on herati field. The weave here is a bit different, with more vertical and slightly less horizontal knots, which means the medallion here is somewhat more squashed. Ian Bennett, in an auction catalogue text, described this rug simply as 'Kurdish village rug', but I am not sure what he thinks is Kurdish about it. I would expect Kurds more to the West of Hamadan, not immediately south-east of Hamadan city—a map of ethnolinguistic groups would have Persian or Lur people there. But then, we must of course accept the possibility that the same design was woven in villages other than Qombâd. In interesting cue is the light blue wefts, which, according to Willborg's weave patterns, can be found Nahavand south-west of Malayer as well as in Kabutarhang and Khanabad north-east of Hamadan city. As to the dating, I do not buy Bennett's 'early 20th century', I think the rug was more likely made around 1930-1940.


The small central quarterfoil medallion is filled by palmettes on stems emanating in four directions from a central rosette. It has a characteristic floral frill collar that may be a simplification of an originally more elaborate design. The medallion floats on a red field filled with a fairly regular, well drawn herati pattern. Itself, this field forms a large hexagon that seems to float on a night blue background, of which only a small section is visilbe at the top and bottom. This dark gap is the most dramatic aspect of an otherwise calm design. Towards the corners, the background is framed by strangely enlarged quarters of the same central medallion design, here in red and not in light green-blue as in the centre. Small floral forms adorn the night-blue 'gap'. The main border on off-white uses what Willborg calls a 'dragon-in-tow' design, which probably also has vegetal origins and is quite common in Hamadan rugs—see, for example, this Gharaghan and a Hamadan with palmette design which may also originate from Qombad.


The field's satuated red could be madder or a stable synthetic dye, or a mix of both; I see no bleeding or tip-fading. There is also a slightly darker brownish shade of red. The light blue-green of the central medallion is definitely synthetic, most likley also the light yellow-green used in the herati pattern diamonds and the main border. I am not sure about the grey-ochre used in the main border and in the frill collar around the central medallion. There is a medium indigo blue and a very dark midnight blue hue used in the background. Browns, used as secondary border background colour, may be the natural colour of brown sheep fleece, there is some nice abrash towards a lighter shade of brown, a band at the centre and the bottom fifth of the rug. Then there is dark black/brown used for outlining, and off-white.


The rug measures 7ft.3in. x 4ft.6in. (221 x 137 cm). Warps are off-white cotton with no warp depression, wefts relatively thin light grey-blue cotton, one weft shot shot as usual for Hamadan. The rug has a fairly flexible and meaty handle, very full and dense pile (ca. 9 mm) and excellent glossy wool. The knot count is Vert. 41/10cm, Hor. 27/10cm = 110.700 knots per square meter (kpsm) and a V/H ratio of 1:1.52. Selvages are one fat cable wrapped in dark brown wool.


Very good, no discernable wear, no loss, stains, holes, etc., clean, full pile.

Additional images

Qombad Hamadan - top half

Qombad Hamadan - top right

Qombad Hamadan - corner detail

Qombad Hamadan - bottom half

Qombad Hamadan -  lower left

Qombad Hamadan - medallion

Qombad Hamadan - herati detail

Qombad Hamadan -  back side view

Last update: 14 November 2007 | Impressum—Imprint