The pattern of “Vase” was probably created in the second half of the 16 century corresponding with the reign of Shah Abbas. In the pattern the field of the carpet is usually divided from side to side by rows of floral lozenges or some other geometrical frames, arranged in lattice forms.
Each individual design contains a Vase or a bunch of flowers. In the same pattern, either a row of animals or hunters on horse back can be found.
The group of “Vase” rugs is generally subdivided into Arabesque Design, Serrated Leaf, Mehrabi Goldani, repeated Panels and multiple Medallions.
Unlike the Medallion carpets this pattern has a design which is woven in one direction.
Viewed from the opposite direction, the design appears inverted. Experts believe that this pattern was woven in Kerman, Kashan, Esfahan, Tabriz, Yazd and even in Harat. Experts such as Kurt Erdmann and Charles Ellis believe that the design originated in Caucasia, but was perfected in Iran.
Arthur Pope believes that the pattern was created in Josheghan (Central Iran).
Several samples of the “Vase” are now kept in museums of New York, Hamburg, Paris, Milan, Vienna and Tehran.
Hunting scenery design
A carpet of this design generally depicts hunting with human figures (usually on horseback) or predatory animals pursuing their prey amidst fertile undergrowth of various plant life.
Formal hunting scenes are firmly rooted in the traditions of the Persian Shahs and Princelings who loved to have themselves depicted as noble hunters and horsemen.
A small number of these carpets are connected to the Safavid period.
Numbering eighteen pieces, fourteen were small in size with dimension of approximately 2.50x1.50 m.
These carpets are also decorated with either Corner Medallions made in silk.
The carpets were woven in Käshan.. The finest of the remaining four larger carpets is kept in the museum in Osterreichisches Vienna, Austria. It is extremely elegant, made entirely of silk and brocaded with silver and gold. The size is 6.80x3.20 m. and its knots number about 1.270.000 to each square metre.
Experts believe that Sultan Mahammad, the skilled painter of Shah Tahmasb’s Court, who was a pupil of the celebrated Iranian painter Behzad, designed this incomparable piece.
The animals depicted in these designs included lion, deer, wild ass, etc. Pasturing amidst trees and bushes with huntsmen on horseback or on foot, with bow and arrow.
Tree and Shrub design
In 16 century, by a combination of the “Medallion” pattern with shapes of animals and trees, the Iranian artist introduced a new design called “Tree and Shrub”.
The finest carpet of this design is found in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The Medallion of this carpet is in the form of a pool of fish, which is surrounded by trees and branches having beautiful flowers. Experts are of the opinion that all carpets of this category, which were woven in 16 17 and 18 century, originated in Kordestan and from parts of North - Western Iran. Lovely and exquisite samples of this design are kept in the Museum of Philadelphia and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
The Harati design derives its name from the city oh Harat (part of Persia until the last century but now in Afghanistan).
The design is generally composed of a single floral head, within a diamond framework flanked by four outwardly curling leaves. One of this carpets is now in the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the other one is in the Museum at Vienna.
“Harflti” design rugs are closely associated with those from Khorasan, Kordestan, Hamedan and Azarbaijan.
The design is based on the formal gardens of ancient Persia with their abundance of flora separated by pathways and ornamental ponds.
They sometimes take the form of a palace garden seen from above but more often a garden is simply implied by the juxtaposition of vegetal and foliate forms.
In the classical Persian design of gardens the field of the carpet is divided equally by channels of water into four sections; named “Chahar bagh” meaning four gardens. Usually, the centre medallion has the form of a pool containing fishes and ducks. The water in the pool and channels are woven in pale blue and beige and on the background of each square are woven birds and shrubs and a cluster of flowers incarnating the lively world of animals.
Some of these carpets are woven in the shape of a Mehrab (a special place in the mosque where the Imam prays) in the others the background has been divided into six sections.
Garden designs are most closely associated with the Kerman weavers of southern Persia and date back to the 17 and early 18 century. Iran is situated in a dry arid region, where in many parts there is an endless expanse of desert or mountains.
The people naturally sought the beauty of nature. All the lovely designs such as streams, pools, gardens with trees and birds which are seen in the Persian carpets are an attempt to bring the lush beauty of nature into their lives.