The question of size is vital. Some of the best decorative firms in the country advise against the use of large rugs in any private residence. They point to the fact that the smaller sizes are less expensive, more durable and more truly artistic in pattern and weave and feel, being the natural product of the native weaver. Formerly the only large rugs woven were for mosques or the throne room of governor or shah or sultan. The common sizes of other rugs were from 3 x 6 to 4 x 12.
Now, in response to the Western demand, large rugs nearly square - 9 x 12, 10 x 12, 11 X 13, 12 x 14, etc. - are produced in quantities at the rug-weaving centers. Their size makes heavier construction imperative and increases the difficulty of weaving, as well as the amount of yarn necessary, thus doubling or tripling the price per foot.
Furthermore, in the small sizes, rugs whose colors have been mellowed by time - genuine antiques - can still be procured at prices that are not prohibitive. Only millionaires can afford antique large rugs.
At the Marquand sale in New York City in 1902 a Fifteenth Century Persian rug (6 x12 and of wool, not silk) sold for $ 38,000 - over $500 a square foot.
Because many antiques are admirable is no reason for denying the merit of modern rugs.
There are more rugs of high quality being woven to-day than ever before, and this is due principally to the fact that there is a better market for them than ever before. The United States alone imports five million dollars' worth a year - about three and a half millions before the duty is paid. No wonder that the Shah of Persia nurses the rug-weaving industry tenderly, bestowing orders and honorable rewards on successful rug merchants and inflicting the most severe penalties for the use of aniline dyes or anything calculated to bring Persian rugs into disrepute.
Very fine large rugs are woven in northwestern Persia and are marketed mostly at Tabriz. Names attached to different types of these rugs are: Tabriz, Gorevan, Serape, Herez, etc. Other large rugs of high quality are those from Kerman in southern Persia and from Khorassan in northeastern Persia.
Oriental rugs vary materially in size, shape, design and color effects, and this variety offers a wide field for selection for various uses. There are Oriental rugs appropriate for use in rooms of almost any decorative style and color treatment, and rugs particularly appropriate for use in the different rooms of the country house.
This phase of the subject is discussed with some care elsewhere.