How can one tell a Persian carpet from a Romanian copy? Where did today’s oriental carpet designs originate? How do the weavers’ ethnic origins influence the artistic value of tribal rugs?
These are just a few of the hundreds of points that are considered in this comprehensive survey by P.R.J Ford who, drawing on his many years of experience in the trade, shows how to recognize the different structural and design features of oriental rugs and carpets. The full range of designs used throughout the Orient – from the Balkans to Peking – are grouped not according to the place of origin but according to the essential characteristics of the designs themselves. This approach illuminates the cultural background of each design, revealing at once the similarities between the interpretations of the various carpet-weaving areas.
The author shows the vital influence of the ethnographic histories of the various carpet-producing regions exercised over all important designs. Yet he is basically concerned with the present, with the millions of oriental carpets on sale today. Illustrations of representative examples of modern types, with descriptions of their key characteristics – construction, materials, sizes, colours – and of the clues which establish a rug’s precise origins, appear together with a balanced appraisal of the qualities, good or bad, of modern production from any one town, village or tribal area.
The introduction presents an account of the general history and essential features of oriental carpets. Extensive cross-referencing and detailed indexes make this a double invaluable reference guide for the professional user or for anyone who has an appreciation of and an interest in the rugs of the Orient.