Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 08-29-2006 09:53 AM:

Safavid wagireh

Dear all,

This is one of the most notable wagireh from Sabahi’s book. It’s also the oldest, dated to the end of 17th century, so belonging to the Safavid period.

It is part of the David Collection, Copenhagen.

Initially though to be a rug fragment, it was later identified as a wagireh for the presence of a thin red “frame” defining the field. In a way is still a fragment because, as you can see, most of the lower border is missing.

According to Sabahi it might be attributed to “Gaenat”, a region of North-East Persia where, during the Safavid period, several weaving centers were established.
If you want a closer look at it, clicking here will open a new window with a higher definition image.


Posted by Richard Larkin on 08-29-2006 10:34 AM:

Great, Filiberto.

Rich Larkin

Posted by Richard Larkin on 08-29-2006 12:15 PM:


Filiberto, Interesting that the little red bead runs around the field piece of it and not the border. They must have been showcasing that arabesque.

The detail in the drawing is excellent, and the coloring too.

Rich Larkin

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 08-29-2006 12:39 PM:

Hi Richard,

Yes, “showcasing” must have been the intention of the weaver.

A technical note about colors: I always leave the color setting of my good, old and cheap Agfa scanner at its default.
The resulting scan is invariably so close to the original – on my monitor – that I don’t have to make any correction, apart for the resizing.
So I have the reasonable assumption that – at least for PC users, don’t know for Macs – the colors that you see should be pretty faithful.


Posted by Richard Larkin on 08-29-2006 11:16 PM:

Hi Filiberto,

Scanners and I haven't become acquainted. I do know you are the master of this stuff. I've seen enough rugs to know this one on the screen looks just right.

Rich Larkin

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 08-30-2006 04:31 AM:

By the way, I searched for Gaenat and found nothing.
That’s because Gaenat is also spelled Qaenat or Qa'enat.
Qaenat is in the South Khorasan province.


Posted by Patrick Weiler on 08-31-2006 04:42 PM:


I don't know, Filiberto. The red looks HOT to me
and the orange is obviously synthetic.

Mac Weiler

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-01-2006 03:20 AM:

Pat, I told you, get rid of that Mac and buy yourself a PC!

P.S.: that red could be a lac dye.

Posted by Sue Zimmerman on 09-26-2006 01:01 PM:

In the lower right hand corner, in the "unfeatured" area, look at the red flower. It is unconventional only in that it points away from the viewer. Otherwise it is a blocky generic rather nondescript sketch making it unworthy of Safavid portrayal. Sure the color is great but red has a flatting effect better suited for other purposes, in my opinion, and, apparently I am not alone in that feeling, at least for this flower.
Look directly above the red flower and you will find, in the "featured area", it's white "twin" flower. The feature which distinguished it, in the first place, as interesting -- that it faces away from the viewer, has been retained. But now it has been transformed and refined into a Safavid stylized version capable of contributing to the flow and the rhythm Safavid designs demand each element used to contribute to.
This is the sort of problem solving which sets this piece apart from the rest of the pieces shown in this salon. The "mechanics" of the woven structure have been worked out and established previously and the "art" problem resolutions are the reason for this piece being woven. Is this clear? I hope so. Sue