2.2 x 2.9 Antique Tabriz Mat, Northwest Persia, Circa 1880

A superlative small Tabriz rug. In this approximately 2′ x 3′ size antique Persian rugs are referred to as “mats” or “Poshtis” and this piece is among the best, if not the best, Tabriz mat we have ever seen. The “abrashed” (variegated) salmon field is decorated with a variety of leaves, flowers and what might be fruit. The navy blue major border is remarkable in it sense of movement and balance.

Tabriz rugs from early in the Persian Rug Revival period in the second half of the 19th century have a looser, more whimsical character than the rugs produced closer to the turn of the century. As is also the case with Fereghan Sarouk and Mohtasham Kashan rugs of this period, examples from the 1870s and 1880s tend to have wonderful use of open space and more rectilinear articulation of the motifs. The qualities are reflected in this rug, which suggests to us that it was woven closer to 1880 than to 1900.