Monthly Archives: March 2013

Arastan at Good Earth in Mumbai

Pakistani Tribal Kurta Cushion, Arastan at Good Earth

We had a wonderful ten days at Good Earth in Bombay. Saw lots of our old customers and many new ones. The space we had was lovely although with carpets you simply cannot have enough. The Good Earth team were warm and gracious and our accessories looked so beautiful mixed with Good Earth’s furnishings. Then there was the master class in visual merchandising: Mrs Lal is brilliant at it and has clearly inculcated it in the organisation.

As well as the carpets, our latest collections of ottomans, cushions and ceramic were enthusiastically appreciated but the highlight was probably our tribal cushions – especially the bright and colourful tribal kurta cushions which all sold out!

Some of my favourite carpets from the collection (as you can tell I have many!):

If you liked anything you saw but didn’t get a chance to come back, contact me on nisha@arastan.com. We ship globally (well nearly …

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A World in Miniature

Kamancheh Player, painting from Hasht Behesht Palace, Isfahan, 1669

The historic, colourful and bustling city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, is home to some remarkable artists who are repositories of that ancient skill: the painting of miniatures. Miniatures that have found their way around the world! And, thanks to my meeting with one such extraordinary individual, a selection of Jaipur Miniatures now graces the display cases at Arastan.

It is no exaggeration to say, that every time I see a miniature, I am taken by surprise!

Its size never ceases to amaze me. Then there’s the intricate detail – down to the last, delicate eyelash resting on a rosy cheek. The smooth, flowing lines of the human body, a bird’s wings, a horse going full tilt. Vibrant, vivid colours – picked out in burnished (in fact 24 karat!) gold and sparkling silver.

Amazing! And to think that the Indian miniature is an art form that can be traced back to about …

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Bordering on the Infinite: Border Motifs in Oriental Carpets

The running dog pattern above and below a Bergama border

If you read my first, tentative post about carpet motifs, you may remember that I promised a follow-up dedicated exclusively to border motifs. My attempt at compiling a comprehensive glossary of border motifs, however, very quickly ran into a wall. There are countless border motifs out there in that jungle that is the world of oriental carpets, and many of them have multiple interpretations and variants. No wonder that no-one has bothered to publish a simple, helpful compendium of border patterns. It would be a mind-boggling and thankless task.

Out of the galaxy of border motifs that can be found in oriental rugs, I have chosen just a few, because they are either common and worth knowing, or because they are simply cool to look at. This short list, therefore, is not by any means exhaustive. It is just a beginning, an elementary text to jump-start your own motif-hunting expedition.

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Myth and Design, as presented by Thomas Cole at Arastan

Scorpion Boteh

As it was once said, “We are who we were…” And it is this truism that Tom Cole, internationally acclaimed Central Asian carpet and textile expert, brought to life vividly and evocatively in the talk he gave for Arastan last Wednesday.

Tom talked with great depth and knowledge not just about the crafts but the historical, cultural and symbolic linkages that accompany them. As one who specialises in tribal weavings and textiles of artistic, historical and ethnographic significance from Central Asia, Tom is the position to do so very authoritatively. As he put it to an interested and involved audience, his presentation on ‘Myth and Design’ endeavoured to identify pervasive myths and symbolism at the core of our very existence as human beings – as illustrated in patterns and symbols spanning the breadth of the Asian continent.

Supported by interesting and relevant visuals, Tom talked about certain images and icons that …

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Arastan at Good Earth in Mumbai: 4-13 March 2013

Kazak Polychromatic Latch Hook Carpet

We’re delighted to be returning to Mumbai to feature the best of artistic traditions from the Silk Route, this time at Good Earth’s flagship store at Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel, for 10 days from from Monday 4 to Wednesday 13 March.

The caravan of treasures includes carpets from across the Caucasian region and from Kurdistan, embroidered glassware from Azerbaijan and a new collection of our popular blue ceramic and silk ikat from Uzbekistan, as well as our one-of-a-kind tribal cushions and ottomans.

Rugs include some much sought after collector’s pieces such as those from Shirvan and Quba in the Caucasus, plus Gabbehs and other tribal Persian carpets, and remarkable new Daizangi kilims from Afghanistan. More Uzbek ceramic includes smaller platters and plates, and we have an entirely new collection of  silk cushions made with authentic fabrics including Uzbek ikat and Moroccan sabra silk.

This coincides with a series of events planned as …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

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