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Treasures from the Moghul Empire

From the Ancient Moghul Kingdom come some of the most majestic and mesmerising traditional carpets ever seen. Influences from Islamic Art to Persian Chinese Textiles combine with India’s Hindu background to create the deeply naturalistic designs that are associated with the Moghul rug. At Bazaar Velvet, we are proud to voice that we now have specimens of this glorious art formin stock in our London Showroom.

Perhaps the most significant figure in the story of the Moghul rug is Emperor Shah Jahan. He continued to expand the already thriving Moghul empire throughout the 17th century, furthering its image of prosperity and success. His influence over art and architecture at the time is not to be underestimated, being the force behind the creation of the Taj Mahal- undisputedly the most iconic building in the whole of India. In time, the Moghul Empire spread from the Asian Steppe throughout the Indian subcontinent from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Bengal.

The now Pakistani city of Lahorebecame the first carpet producing centre. The local dyers here were among the most talented in the world and had access to a wide range of natural dyestuff to give the rugs their iconic colour pallets. Reds, yellows, oranges, greens and deep dark blues gave the rugs their uniquely theatrical colour palette, setting them apart from existing interpretations of rug design.Moghul Carpets were also famous for their fine construction, with soft pashmina wool woven onto cotton or occasionally silk foundations. Conversely, the quality of the modern Moghul design rug can vary hugely. The colonization of India by the British lead to them being mass produced using synthetically dyed yarns and machine processes. However, a few companies remain that possess a loyalty to traditional craftsmanship and still produce authenticMoghul rugs today. The pieces at Bazaar Velvet are such examples – created using vegetable dyes combined with a wash of red Rajasthan clay.

Rajput Indigo

The impressive motifs found on the traditional Moghul make it one of the most fascinating types of decorative rug. The stunning beauty of the natural world provided endless inspiration to weavers, who focused on the gorgeous tropical plants and flowers that inhabitedtheir surroundings. Trees and vines are often found climbing across the surface of a mogul design or sprays and vases used as grand centrepieces. However, perhaps the most dramatic and vivacious of the Moghul rugs are those featuring ferocious wild beasts. Tigers and Cheetahs were particularly prevalent, symbolising strength and majesty. All the natural forms found on the traditional Moghul rug are represented in a two-dimensional stylised form yet possesssurprising detailswhich only add to their sense of intrigue.

Rajput Grey Madder

At Bazaar Velvet, we feel privileged to continue the story of these captivating traditional rugs. ‘Rajput’ our exciting new production, gives a fresh spin to this incredible style. Adjustments to scale and composition give a cleaner more modern finish, whilst the original antique charm of the Moghul design remains intact.Please feel free to explore the Bazaar Velvet website and contact us to discover more, or visit our showroom for the chance to see these beautiful pieces in all their glory.

Topics: Rugs Through Time