Persians, who ought to know best,' divide their rugs into the following groups according to ornamentation mostly, which is different from the accepted division in common use abroad: (a) Kirman; (h) Herati; (c) Iran; (d) Hama dan; (e) Kurdistan.
(a) The Kirman group is subdivided into the following celebrated specimens: (1) Kashan; (2) Kirman or Kirrnanshah; (3) Saruk; (4) Tabriz. The chief characteristics of this group lie in their extreme fineness of texture, brilliance of coloring and purely floral ornamentation, which is carried to its highest perfection.
Mostly of modern construction, but copies of some old forms, with floriated medallions or panels or scrolls, replete with vases of flowers, and representations of birds or beasts, these rugs show the scintillating splendor of jewels in textile art; and they command high prices on the American market.
(b) The Herati group includes: (1) Meshed; (2) Khorassan ; (3) Shah Abbas; (4) Feraghan; (5) Joshaghan; (6) Youraghan.
To the heart of a true son of old Iran, this grdup of rugs is the most precious of all, for here are preserved the glorious traditions of his 'forefathers; here, the holiest shrine of his faith; here, the revered name of his most illus trious shah and, here, the true splendor of his matchless artistry. The chief excellence of this group is in the development of the leaf pattern; be it the palm leaf, the rose leaf, the lotus leaf or the so-called 'river-loop design; it fills a very prominent part of ornamentation either in a curled position as in the Feraghan, or spread out on borders, corners and medallions as in the Meshed and Khorassan, or in groups and clusters of splendid tracery as in the Shah Abbas.
(c) The Iran group contains the following popular specimens: (1) Teheran; (2) Mihr; (3) Saraband; (4) Shiraz.
Most worthy of mention and very much admired by all Orientals are the Saraband and Shiraz rugs, besides the Mihr, which really is the finest grade of Saraband.
The characteristic peculiarity of these, es pecially of the Mihr and Saraband, is the palm leaf pattern, row upon row, on a field of red or blue but seldom ivory, each row of palm leaves facing in an opposite direction.
In the Shiraz rugs the palm leaf design, if employed at all, is used without regard to regularity or size. The Shiraz rugs show an utter disregard to conventional interesting there fore they are among the most nteresting rugs of the Orient. Often medallions run through the centre which arc decorated with flowers, leaf patterns, birds and animals much after the style of Kirmans. But the distinguishing points are: the salvages overcast in two or more colors with tassels here and there and the two ends finished with pretty needlework patterns.
In the Teheran the patterns may or may not show the palm, but they are kindred rugs in all other respects.
(d) The Heriz group contains: (I) Ar debil; (2) Hamadan; (3) Bakhshaish; (4) Go rovan; (5) Serapi.
In these rugs, the medallion with its vari ous modifications is carried out in a most pro nounced fashion; especially in the Gorovan and Serapi, where the medallion stands out in bar baric outline upon a field of red, white, blue, green or brown hues of great brilliancy.
In the Heriz and Hamadan, the undyed hair of the camel plays a prominent part, often cover ing the whole rug, decorated with rosettes, medallions, pendants and heavy traceries, all interwoven in bold contrasts. In the Ardebil and Bakhshaish and the Heriz proper, these striking contrasts are entirely eliminated, in deed, these show such superb mellowness of .coloring. graceful lineations and superior floriations, that they bespeak of times of long ago.
(e) In the Kurdistan group are included the following specimens: (1) Sehna; (2) Bijar; (3) Lelle.
It would seem that the Sehna rug should not fall under this heading, for there is no sirnilarityof style or texture to the Kurdistan; hut the people of Persia class this rug as a Kurdistan.
The Sehna, so far as fineness of texture is concerned, belongs to the Kirwan group, and not infrequently surpasses even the best Kashan texture of the Kirman group. Hun dreds of knots are crowded in a space of one square inch with shortest cut yarn until it be comes almost beyond belief that human fingers are capable of producing such a fabric.