Staff Pick – Antique Khoy Carpet

With stunning clarity, this Persian Khoy carpet is hand-knotted and belongs to Orley Shabahang’s Antique Collection. With this carpet’s perfect proportions and condition, it is hard to grasp from photos that this carpet measures 13′ x 20′ and was constructed circa 1920. This carpet’s value lies in the quality of its construction, its size, and excellent condition. Continue reading to discover why this carpet is a gem inside the Orley Shabahang Antique Collection.

Spotting the differences between Khoy carpets and Tabriz carpets comes down to the patterns and pile. Typically, Khoy carpets are woven with a larger standard knot size than Tabriz carpets. This knot size produces a slightly heavier and thicker pile that requires the weaver to leave more space in between each motif, allowing less room for intricate detail. What makes our antique Khoy unique is, its size. The larger knots have less effect on the carpet’s pattern and allow the weaver to include additional detailing to provide a clear and flawlessly scaled design.

Typically labeled as Tabriz carpets, Khoy pieces made during and after the 1940s branded their rugs as Tabriz for marketing purposes. Previously, during the turn of the 20th century, the Khoy people took pride in their carpets under their name.

Like the famous Tabriz carpets, the design represents a Persian flower garden called a bagh. Exceptional compared to most, this Khoy’s medallion was created in exceptionally vibrant tones of blue, green, red, and pink wool. Eye-catching butterfly, flower, and fern motifs sit peacefully inside the medallion. Created with precision and skill, the artist outlined each of these motifs with either red, black, or pink detailing. This outlining allows the individual motifs to come alive off of the rich dark background. Encompassing the medallion is an intricate and intertwining flower and vine pattern, done in shades of blue, cream, red, pink, and green detailing.

The flower selections and placements are purposeful and have significance to the carpet’s design. Identifiable with their pink petals and side perspective orientation, carnations represent wisdom and knowledge. Marigolds, distinguished by their open facing position with identifiable red petals, represent wealth. And certainly not least, lilies are found on the ends of the red vines woven in pink wool, and they signify prosperity. The elegance and grace from the carpet’s design create a peaceful, ethereal ambiance. Traveling outwards, an intricate multi-level border divides the carpet’s foreground design from the carpet’s outside edge. Here, three levels of vines and flowers create the necessary space to bring the similarly stylized fern, carnation, and marigold bulbs to life.

To deeply appreciate this craftmanship, look at each motif. Each element is outlined with a contrasting color, giving each motif a chance to pop off the neutral cream background. It is nearly impossible to find carpets of this age, size, and condition. Visit Orley Shabahang’s 1stDibs page or website to see more of our immense antique collection.