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:: year 5, Issue 18 (3-2022) ::
Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2022, 5(18): 285-305 Back to browse issues page
Investigating the Effective Factors in Collecting Carpets by European in the Qajar Period
Soheila Bakhtiyari1, Taher Rizazadeh2, Davood Shadlou3
1- M.A. in Arts Research, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. , tahirrizazadeh@gmail.com
3- Assistant Professor, Carpet Department, Faculty of Applied Arts, Shiraz University of Arts, Shiraz, Iran.
Abstract:   (543 Views)
Abstract
The special conditions of the Qajar period have made it possible for Europeans to obtain Iranian carpets more than before. During this period, Europeans interested in Iranian rugs took advantage of the unique opportunities available to them to create, develop, and complete the assets of their rug collections in the best way. Familiarity with the fields of creating these opportunities on the one hand and knowledge of European strategy regarding the acquisition of Iranian carpets in this period are among the important and contemporary issues and concerns of carpet studies and of course museum studies and can complete our knowledge in this field. Accordingly, this article intends to follow the most important methods and strategies of Europeans in acquiring and owning Iranian rugs to identify and introduce the factors affecting their access to these rugs and their storage. In fact, in this research, we want to know what factors were involved in the formation of the process of collecting Qajar rugs by Europeans. For this purpose and to find the answer to this question, in this article, we have used the descriptive-analytical research method. We also collected our data in a library method and used a qualitative method to analyze them. Findings and results of this study indicate that the tradition of offering rugs to ambassadors and European courts on the one hand and the rugs export industry of this period have been the most important traditional factors in collecting valuable Iranian rugs by Europeans. Also, due to the cultural changes and modernization of the Qajar kings, especially Nasser al-Din Shah, and the welcome to participate in the famous international exhibitions of the nineteenth century is also one of the newest methods and facilities of European carpet collecting in this period. 
Keywords: Persian carpets, Qajar period, Carpet Collection, European collections.

Introduction
The special conditions of the Qajar period had made it possible for Europeans to obtain Iranian carpets more than before. During this period, Europeans interested in Iranian carpets took advantage of the unique opportunities available to them to create, develop and complete the assets of their carpet collections. Today, one of the topics of concern and contemporary concerns in carpet studies is getting acquainted with the fields of creating these opportunities on the one hand and becoming aware of the facilities and methods used by Europeans about Iranian carpets on the other hand. Just as the quantity and quality of the presence of Iranian carpets in European collections and museums is important, so are the factors influencing the transfer of these carpets and the manner in which they were taken over by the Europeans.
Therefore, this article intends to follow the most important methods and possibilities of Europeans in acquiring and possessing Iranian carpets in the Qajar period to identify and introduce the effective factors in their acquisition and storage of these carpets. In order to achieve this goal, in order to explain this issue in principle, the contents of this article were organized under two general sections. At the beginning and in the first part of the article, the role of the court tradition of donating carpets to ambassadors and European courts, which has been common, in examining Iranian carpets to European collections, was examined. On the other hand, in the continuation of this section, the contribution of the carpet export industry to the prosperity of European collections was studied and analyzed. Here, the role of Iranian merchants in transporting carpets to Europe was mainly discussed. In the second part of the article, the effect of international exhibitions on increasing popularity and subsequently expanding the desire of Europeans to own Iranian carpets was discussed. International exhibitions are considered a relatively new phenomenon that the holding of these events facilitated and accelerated the development of Iranian carpet collections in Europe even more than the previous factor.
This article has been written using descriptive-analytical research method and has collected its data by library method. The statistical population is based on books, articles, catalogs and some related documents that have been analyzed qualitatively.

Discussion
This article tried to follow the most important methods and possibilities of Europeans in acquiring and possessing Iranian rugs in the Qajar period, to identify and introduce the factors influencing their access to and storage of these rugs. To achieve this goal, and to explain the principles of this issue, we have organized the contents of this article under two general sections. First, and in the first part of the article, we examined the role of the court tradition of donating rugs to ambassadors and European courts, which has been common, in finding Iranian rugs to European collections. 
On the other hand, in the continuation of this section, we have studied and analyzed the contribution of the rug export industry to the prosperity of European collections. Here we have mainly dealt with the role of Iranian traders in transporting rugs to Europe. In the second part of the article, we have discussed the effect that international exhibitions have had on increasing popularity and, consequently, expanding Europeans’ desire to own Iranian carpets. International exhibitions are a relatively new phenomenon and are specific to the Qajar period. Holding these events has facilitated and accelerated the development of Iranian rug collections in Europe even more than the previous factor. 

Conclusion
Numerous factors have paved the way for Europeans to embroider carpets during the Qajar period and their access to exquisite Iranian carpets. Items such as the tradition of offering carpets to European ambassadors and courts on the one hand, and the export of carpets by Iranian merchants on the other hand are among the most common and prevalent of these factors. Of course, during this period, in addition to embassies and European courts, their collections were also among the targets of these offerings. Museums such as Victoria and Albert have acquired excellent carpets in this way. Tabriz merchants have also played a special role in warming the Iranian carpet market in Europe. A significant part of Iranian carpet customers in Europe have been wealthy urban consumers. Although the carpets sent to these houses have in some cases been taken from private and public collections, the museum brokers have not neglected the Iranian carpet export markets and have started carpet weaving for their collections directly by purchasing these carpets. During this period, due to the development of exports, in addition to old and worn carpets, which were not originally woven for export purposes, new carpets were introduced that were woven specifically for presentation in European markets.
One of the unique ways of offering Iranian carpets in the Qajar period is attending international exhibitions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this period, exhibitions were held in Vienna, London, Paris and Munich, in which Iranian carpets were also able to participate. Many of the rugs on display at these exhibitions belonged to the Safavid period. These carpets were more popular than the carpets of the Qajar period. Nevertheless, the carpets of both periods have attracted European customers. Many rugs were identified by Europeans by attending these exhibitions and were able to enter European collections and museums.
Keywords: Persian carpets, Qajar period, Carpet Collection, European collections
Full-Text [PDF 1077 kb]   (95 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Interdisciplinary
Received: 2021/01/16 | Accepted: 2021/07/27 | Published: 2022/03/1
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Bakhtiyari S, Rizazadeh T, Shadlou D. Investigating the Effective Factors in Collecting Carpets by European in the Qajar Period. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2022; 5 (18) :285-305
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