• Vintage Donegal carpet, "Editor's Choice"

    The Aesthete’s Lament featured a vintage Donegal carpet in its  “Editor’s Choice” wish list of eclectic interiors items from the country house of  Robert Harling, recently auctioned at Christies. This approximately 9′ x 12′ carpet exceeded the estimate but still came in at a ridiculously reasonable £1,250 (approx.$2,090), a fabulous value.  When you see the carpet in its context, both in the auction catalog and as highlighted by the Editor’s Choice, the decorative potential of these period pieces is clearly recognizable. Read the original post for details about Harling, his tastes, and his tastemaking. And congratulations to the new owner of this piece, whose astute aesthetic sense has procured a…

  • Photos from our workshop

    Here are some pictures from our workshop in India. (Please note the adult artisans!) The photos show some of the steps involved in the process of making a hand-knotted rug.

  • The art of the carpet

    From the tents of nomads to the finest court ateliers of sultans, mughals, and kings, pile carpets have long symbolized wealth, rank, prestige and luxury. In the royal court workshops of the Ottoman, Persian, and Indian empires, the design and creation of carpets was the province of highly respected and skilled artisans. Carpets were not made for commercial sale, but were commissioned for palaces, as dowries, or as gifts for kings, queens, and foreign dignitaries. Inspired by these court ateliers, the King of France established carpet production for his own use, first at the Louvre and later at the Savonnerie. After the exclusive rights of the royal family were rescinded,…

  • FAQ Part 4: The care and feeding of your carpet

    Up until now, we haven’t had a section for FAQs. We certainly DO have frequently asked questions, so we’ve prepared a series of posts which we hope will address some of those. Eventually we’ll compile a standard Q&A format for our FAQ page. This is Part 4 in the series. (See Part 1, Part 2 , and Part 3 .) We’d appreciate it very much if you’d leave a comment if you find the posts helpful, or if you have followup questions. Hand-knotted woolen rugs, which are made using the same technique as fine Persian (“oriental”) carpets, are very durable; their construction and the particular qualities of wool fiber make…

  • FAQ Part 3: How to be confident in your choice of carpet

    This is Part 3 in a series. (See Part 1 and Part 2 here.) We welcome your comments and questions. Hand-knotted carpets, also known as “oriental” carpets due to their origins in Asia, are available in a multitude of designs, colors, and styles. An oriental rug is often the single most expensive home furnishing item that many people buy. Choosing a carpet can be an intimidating process, but it can be made manageable and enjoyable by knowing a bit about carpets, their construction, and their history. Ask all the questions you need to in order to become comfortable with your purchasing decision. Ultimately, the most important question to ask in…