184 x 132 cm
This Persian Mazlagan rug dates to around 1930. It comes from a group of three villages in the northwest Persian Hamadan district. Twenty years ago, most dwellings in these villages were mud houses (see additional image from one of Christopher’s research visits to the area in the 1980s, which he undertook in preparation for an exhibition of this group of weavings).
Mazlagan rugs have a very distinctive design: the elongated hexagonal medallion with the zig-zag outlines (they are sometimes labelled as depicting a “lightning design” on account of that) takes up most of the field. In the example in hand, this medallion is on a dark blue, almost black ground. It is decorated with five chains of flower heads, again a feature frequently found in this type of rug. The medallion is set in a sparsely decorated field the colour of terracotta and the shape a concentric extension of the central hexagon, complete with the same zig-zag lines.
The spandrels are in the same colour way and patterning as the central medallion, thus giving the rug a feeling of simple geometry and calm, despite the effect of the pointed zigzags. This effect is aided by the use of subtle, soft colours throughout.
The white main border with a meander of leaves and flower heads could also be read as a version of the “boat” border found in some Turkoman rugs, though that attribution seems somewhat far fetched. It is enclosed by two identical floral borders.
The rug is woven in wool on a cotton foundation. It is in very good condition, with only slight wear in the field and small losses to the ends . All colours are based on natural dye stuffs.