All images from LARTA 2021. RUPERT SMITH TEXTILES, South West China Miao minority wedding blanket made by the bride for her husband’s family using appliqué technique. 20th century.
From 26 January until 14 February, the London Antique Rug and Textile Art fair (LARTA) will run online, in place of the originally planned 11th edition of the physical event. Some of the UK and Europe’s top textile and carpet experts will showcase a stunning selection of decorative and fine rugs, room-sized carpets, runners, kilims and flatweaves, and textiles for decorating with or using as art, such as antique toiles, tapestries, embroideries and costume. Pieces date from the early 19th century to modernist, as well as bespoke contemporary designs.
Image: Aaron Nejad Gallery, Swedish kelim by Ingegerd Silow.
LARTA is an annual fair usually held at Evolution London in Battersea Park on the mezzanine of the Decorative Fair. It was launched in 2011 and is the only specialist UK fair dedicated to the appreciation of antique rug and textile art. This annual event brings together quality decorative pieces and interesting collectors' items presented by some 20 of the UK and Europe’s most dynamic and knowledgeable dealers. Since 2017, LARTA broadened its offering to include 20th century carpets by Modernist and Art Deco designers, as well as a select range of contemporary designer rugs.
Image: Carpet Restoration Studio, early 19th century Persian rug.
In this year’s virtual version, all items for sale will be available online. New features added to the website to try to replicate some of the interaction of the event include short videos where some of the participants discuss their particular area of expertise and introduce a few items for sale. Another is ‘LARTA’s Guide to Buying Antique Rugs plus Decorating Tips and Choosing the Right Sized Rug for a Room.’ Returning exhibitors include Emily’s House London, which specialises in Moroccan vintage Berber rugs in vibrant colours. James Cohen offers a Persian ivory Ziegler in an unusual colour palette, c.1890, and a large 17th century Flemish hunting tapestry. A highlight from Carpet Restoration Studio is an early 19th century Persian lion wool rug. This unique, highly collectible symbolic rug was made during the Qajar period and was a symbol of power, so was often made as a gift for the Shah.