(Posted on 30/12/15)
The dilemma which surround carpet patterns are just as complex as those connected with their colours. Here too, two different approaches are possible: simply to be captivated by the beauty, ornamental richness and imagination displayed in the variety and virtuosity of the designs, or to study the subject in detail, by means of comparative research and the scholarship of the carpet connoisseur. Both paths lead to the ‘carpet paradise’, the first by way of pure sensitivity, the second via exact science. No instruction is needed for an enjoyment of carpet designs although some guide-lines may be given towards their deeper understanding. It has not been possible to avoid the use of specialist terminology in the brief text on the provenances and in the captions to the illustrations. Here such terms are used as hooked diamonds, palmette, rosette, blossom or leaf designs, pictorial designs, hunting scenes, medallion and vase carpets. The same applies to the description of the carpet borders. The reader who is interested in understanding carpets and their designs cannot avoid the study of the ornaments, for example in the carpets of Heriz, Kashan and Senneh, as well as in those of the Gashgai. Given the multiplicity of designs to be found in Persian carpets, however, the investigation of individual motifs, their origin and development would be beyond the scope of any one.