Round Oriental Rugs

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Most round Oriental rugs, not a traditional shape in hand knotted rugs, are mass manufactured. There are exceptions, of course, but what you will see at a dealer will be rectangular, 99 times out of 100. Almost all have a medallion motif in the center. Sizes are measured just as rectangular rugs are, by length and width. Typical sizes start at about three feet square and go up to about 12 feet.

Safavieh is a rug manufacturer established in 1914 in the heart of the Persian rug weaving region. It is a name worth noting and remembering if you're a purist in Oriental rugs. For the past 90 years it has made its name by continuing and adapting the hand knotting and hand weaving traditions behind fine Oriental rugs.

Safavieh moved to the United States in the late 1970s, just before the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of the Ayatollah. Despite being so far from the traditional center of the Oriental rug world, it effectively continues those ancient traditions today. One of its rug categories is round Oriental rugs.

Antique Round Oriental Rugs

The oldest round rug is Egyptian, and dates to the 16th century. The style, known as Mamluk, featured complex geometric designs with large medallions at the center. France produced round rugs as well, the Aubusson and Savonnerie designs, in the 17th and 18th centuries. Round Oriental rugs in China were first produced in the early 19th century, in the cities of Tientsin and Beijing.


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