Despite many presumptions it remains unknown, when the Persian carpet emerged. The first knotted carpets, which where discovered in the 4th and 5th pre-christian century, were not of Persian origin. It can be supposed, that the technique of knotting was brought to the country with the invasion of the Seljuks in the 11th century. There is also no knowledge about individual development stages until the beginning of the golden period in the 16th century. From miniature painters we know though, of which beauty the carpets of this period were. It can be supposed that the great creations, generated in the time of the Saffavid dynasty (1499-1722), portray the pinnacle of a technique which was developed to perfection, during the Mongolian rule in the previous two centuries already.
The Saffavids not only founded a new multinational state, but also began with the founding of famous court manufacturies in Isfahan, Taebriz, Kerman, and Kashan. Making this a period of great cultural ascendency.
During the end of the 17th century, and even more so in the 18th century, symptoms of decline became evident affecting the entire art and culture of Persia. The political weakening of the country at the end of the Saffavid dynasty and the Afghan occupation (1721 - 1722) were causal for the symptons of the decline.
The feeble style of the products of the 18th century mirrors a period of continuous wars. The growing demand in the Occident led to a perceptible boost in the 19th century. Especially the carpet dealers in the basars of Taebriz carried on a thriving export business with Europe.Numerous carpet shops were established, operated by English firms (Ziegler 1883), and German and American enterprises. Especially the "Ziegler carpet" received an unbelievable renaissance at this time. Carpets from Iran were on top of the German import statistics again. The most important provinces are listed in alphabetical order.
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