Of Carpets and Textiles

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on Jenny Housego’s engaging and interactive talk on carpets and textiles

Jenny Housego speaking on Carpets at Saffronart, Delhi
Image credit: Saffronart

New Delhi: What was planned as a small and intimate gathering of people collected to hear Jenny Housego speak of her long association with carpets and textiles, became an evening of much interaction between the audience and a select number of experts present. The talk took place in conjunction with Saffronart’s upcoming Auction of Carpets, Rugs and Textiles. A textile historian, Jenny spoke about the years she spent in Iran, walking along a street full of carpet shops and studying the techniques and designs unique to every region within the country, and eventually writing a book titled ‘Tribal Rugs of Iran’.

Carpets and Shawls on display at Saffronart, Delhi
Image credit: Saffronart

The auction collection includes early twentieth century tribal carpets, city carpets, kilims and runners from Iran, Afghan rugs, Kashmiri jamavar shawls and jail carpets from Agra and Amritsar among others. The ‘jail carpet’ was a topic of much discussion. Historically said to have started as a reformatory task for prisoners in these regions, weavers were actually brought from Persia to train these inmates in the art of carpet making.

Also discussed were the difference in motifs found in tribal carpets as opposed to city carpets from Persia. While tribal carpets used more geometric patterns and even the animals and objects depicted were angular, city carpets on the other hand were more floral and bright.

Jenny also spoke about the extensive trade links between countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which led to the increase in the variety of carpets available within India. The carpets, rugs and textiles are currently on view at the Saffronart Delhi and Mumbai spaces. The auction will take place on 27-28 November, 2012.

View the catalogue here

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