Posted on: July 21, 2020

Antique Spotlight – Haji Jalili Tabriz

This precious Haji Jalili Tabriz dates back to 1880. Its has aged like the finest wine, growing even more pleasing over time. What makes this antique Persian carpet stand apart from the rest is its maker. Haji Jalili made a name for himself in the carpet world in the latter half of the 19th century. From his workshop in Tabriz, Haji Jalili had such a unique ability to add his own artisan touch in every step of the process. From its design to its pastel dyes and malleable weave, this authentic Haji Jalili Tabriz is a timeless masterpiece.

This 9' x 12' antique Haji Jalili Tabriz carpet has pastel yarns of blue and peach alongside a dark deep blue. The simple petaled flower in the center is surrounded by concentric medallions whose fields are filled with various flower motifs. Its prominent border is flanked by two thin symmetrical borders.

Considered one of the greatest master weavers in history, Haji Jalili’s innovative techniques not only improved the quality of Persian carpets but also advanced them stylistically. For example, the natural dye recipes for soft earth tones and pastels were completely distinctive to his workshops. They are a far cry from the typical bold red and blue yarns found in many Persian rugs of the time. Other carpet-makers of the era tried to mimic these hues, but they could never achieve the same subtlety. Furthermore, Haji Jalili employed his own weaving techniques. These produced supple and pliable textiles whose knots gain more shine and strength with time. Its design has also becomes more refined and clear over the last century-and-a-half. This Haji Jalili Tabriz, like so many of his carpets, was conceived in totality to enhance itself with use.

The design of this antique is also quintessentially Haji Jalili. It takes inspiration from the principal tenant in Islam – tawid. This is the belief in the oneness and unity of Allah. He demonstrates this with the concentric medallions growing outward from the central flower. The whole intricate pattern develops from the circular center in the middle of the carpet. Within this pattern there are several different floral motifs. Their style can be attributed to the artistic mind of Haji Jalili. Even though the field of the rug is completely filled with these flowers, they are not as detailed as some other antique Persian carpets. This choice along with the color palette quiets the rug, giving it a sense of serenity.

This Haji Jalili Tabriz antique remains in excellent condition today. This is because Haji Jalili’s work distills the intention of a true Persian carpet – functional art. Even in today’s world of modern and contemporary taste, the beauty of this rug remains universal.