Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two Ardabil Carpets: A Comparison and Some Puzzling Differences

While some features and placements in both Ardabil carpets (Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Los Angeles County Museum of Art) are phenomenally duplicated, it is in knot count, texture, and pile length, curiously enough that significant and puzzling differences are found.

In the London Work, there are 17-18 hand-tied asymmetrical (Persian or Seneh) knots to the linear inch, whereas the Los Angeles carpet averages 19-20. This results in an approximate count of 297 to 324 knots per square inch in the Ardabil of London, and 380 to 420 knots to the square inch in the Los Angeles pendant.

This discrepancy may rule out conjecture that the carpets were woven simultaneously, although they bear the same date. Burton B. Fredericksen, the curator of J. Paul Getty Museum believed that the finer weaving of the Los Angeles Ardabil makes it the older of the pair.

Khosrow Sobhe
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)

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