One gorgeous rug can inspire a whole new way to use the space it joins. In that same spirit, one can further inspire us to find a new appreciation for a style.
This month, Rug & Kilim fell for one of the most unique antique French Deco rugs even Josh Nazmiyal has ever seen. Sales & eCommerce’s Nina Gilden fell quite literally, as you can see in her September team pick. It’s a rare emphasis of green for its provenance (and much to our delight, with how much the market loves green right now). It’s in pristine condition for its period, too, and that’s always uncommon for Art Deco rugs of this lush quality.
But for all its countless beauties, to this author it’s furthermore an exemplar of open field rugs like few we know.
Open field rugs are easy to distinguish when one knows the fundamental parts of a rug. The “field”is the rug’s center, and it includes all patterns within the innermost border. An open field rug like the Art Deco piece above lacks all pattern, but open field rugs can still have medallion patterns (and many do). If enough space within the border(s) or around the medallion lacks any pattern, it creates an ‘open’ field.
Connoisseurs may appreciate that the open field style is one of the oldest handmade rug styles, inspired by the cover of the Quran which dates back to 610 B.C. (this marks the birth of the prayer rug, or “mihrab” pattern as we know it). The style spread to countless cultures who boast their own variations to this day, but the solid color background defines most antiques that employ the style. Antique Persian rugs, French and Chinese Deco rugs and Oushak rugs are just a few antique rug traditions with some of the most celebrated open field rugs.
Some open field rugs do have an abrash or striae, though, and there are some with multiple colors that simply lack definition (and therefore, qualify). The only absolute requirement of an open field rug is some version of a border, as plain rugs or solid rugs are their own classification.
Open field rugs have limitless potential, though some are particularly ideal for dining rooms and similar spaces. An open field is a perfect host for a dining table, a living room table, a desk and other furniture you wouldn’t want to cover more pattern-centric rugs. Open field rugs with medallions are a natural choice beneath chandeliers, too, and create a more dynamic vertical symmetry in their many contributions to the space.
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