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UWC Talk: The Persian Carpet: The Forgotten Years 1722-1872 by Hadi Maktabi

Hadi Maktabi
University Women’s Club University Women’s Club, Mayfair, London, W1K 1DB


The lecture will cover the forgotten history of carpet weaving in Persia during the 18th and 19th centuries. It will show how Safavid styles morphed and evolved as they were adopted (and adapted) by rural weavers, eventually coalescing into the recognizable types of the last 150 years. This overlooked period, which has been the main focus of my research for 20 years, is an essential connector between the historical Safavid age and the more familiar carpets of the Revival era (1872-1930) and beyond. The lecture will discuss various design groups (such as Garden and Tree themes, the Harshang, Herati and Garrus types etc) and show how each transitioned and changed gradually step by step from the Safavid original into the final Revival form. I will also explain the socio-economic value and history of carpets in this period and highlight the art historical importance of the lack of European demand during it.