عنوان مقاله [English]
Miḥrābī design is one of the old and genuine patterns of Iranian carpet weaving. Originally, this design has probably been used to decorate prayer mats in small dimensions, and with the passage of time, especially from the Qajar era onwards it was woven in larger dimensions and with different combinations. According to the majority of experts, miḥrābī design entered the decorative arts of Iran with the influence of architectural art and the carpet manufacturers, like other handicraft artists, used it to decorate all kinds of carpets, such as gilīm (a rug made of goat's hair), namad (felt cloth), carpet, and zīlū (a hand-woven floor covering). Some researchers believe that the pattern of miḥrāb is modeled after the miḥrāb of Islamic mosques; but as per the patterns and samples of the arch designs existing in the pre-Islamic art, it can be considered to have a longer history.
Carpet weaving in the Holy city of Mashhad was revived since the middle of the Qajar rule (1210-1343 AH/1796-1925 AD). Some of the weavings left over from this era, especially the pieces kept in the Astan Quds Razavi Carpet Museum testify that the designers, weavers and producers who settled in this city from different parts of Iran for the sake of the Holy Shrine of ‘Alī b. Mūsā al-Riḍā (A.S.), made great efforts in reviving the carpet weaving tradition of Mashhad. Given its type of weaving, design, and most important of all, the inscriptions it contains, the two-faced tree-curtain miḥrābī carpet is one of the significant works preserved in the Astan Quds Razavi Carpet Museum. By studying and examining it, one can obtain valuable information about Mashhad carpet history. The purpose of this research, besides collecting authentic written documents for a better understanding of the miḥrāb design in the decorative arts of Iran, is to introduce one of the distinguished works of the Qajar era and the ethnic groups who together revived the tradition of carpet weaving in the Holy city of Mashhad.
The most important question in this research is, "What was the origin of the miḥrāb design and how did it enter the handicraft arts including carpet weaving?" Also, "What are the characteristics of the two-faced tree-curtain miḥrābī carpet and under the influence of what pattern was it designed and woven?" This writing is done by a descriptive-analytical method and through documentary and field study. The results obtained by studying the structure and inscriptions in the carpet imply that the artists and craftsmen from Mashhad, Tabriz and Kerman, by working together and using the old traditions of Mashhad carpet weaving, were able to revive carpet weaving in Mashhad and establish the second glorious era of carpet weaving, second to the Safavid era. Also, it is likely that the porches of Razavi Holy Shrine were the designers' model for implementing the composition of the two-faced tree-curtain miḥrābī carpet.