When we landed in Tehran in November 2016, we held up passport control for two hours, then waited an hour for our luggage. Exhausted, we wondered, what are we doing here? Is this ok? These thoughts never occurred again. Throughout our two-week stay, we received nothing but warm welcomes and nothing but enthusiasm for America. People loved “our” movies, music, and iPhones. They were delighted to see us. We, in turn, savored Iranian mint tea, eggs baked with spinach, and persimmons. We’ll never forget the beauty of Persepolis, the ruins of an ancient, highly sophisticated Persian civilization. We visited villages to watch Gabbehs be made, by women as curious about us as we were about them. A few of the rugs we bought are still in the gallery.
In May 2018, the US withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Treaty, and effective that August, implemented an embargo on imports from Iran. Our travels to and purchasing from Iran are on hold for the time being. Proactively, we completed two ambitious, pre-embargo buying trips to Switzerland to fill our storage to the rafters with traditional, Iranian-sourced Gabbehs. Persian rugs made in Iran will define the majority of our stock for years. Going forward, and in the case of custom Gabbehs, we defer to our Iranian contacts, who began revisiting their production format years ago. Future Gabbehs will be hand-knotted of hand-spun, Persian wool, dyed with the same plant sources, and built on traditional designs, as always, but will be made outside Iran. By continuing to work with the family we trust, we keep the Gabbeh form alive, even as politics change certain elements.
Stop by to see the Archeo collection, rooted in the ancient past and viable for the future.