In the late nineteenth century the Arak region of Persia catered especially to western markets, with the the most famous, the English firm of Ziegler & Company established in Sultanabad and became directly involved in the design and manufacture of the finest Mahal or “Sultanabad” carpets. The color selected for these rugs were meant to appeal to the English tastes of the time, but they remain popular to this day all over the world.

This charming little Ziegler is not a small rug, however. Rather, it is a ‘Vagireh’ or pattern sampler used as a guide or template for weaving a larger, room-sized carpet. The cluster of arabesque palmettes in the top right corner depict one quarter of the central medallion, while the undulating leafy form in the upper right is one of the four cornerpieces of the field. The various other forms would be used a s fillers in the area between the cornerpieces and central medallion.  The actual border here is only a minor border or guard stripe. The design of the larger main border was not apparently included here and would be worked up from another source.

Samplers such as this, with their asymmetrical arrangement of the various elements, exquisite drawing and color are very collectible, although many people also use them as unique area rug.

3559 Ziegler