This rug was executed in Jerusalem and bears the signature of the Marbadiah workshops which employed weavers formerly from the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts. This prestigious institution, established outside the Old City of Jerusalem, is named after Bezalel ben Uri, the Biblical builder of the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:33). In 1920, a group of Bezalel artists created the Marbadiah workshops and became well known for their representations of Biblical sites, calligraphy and their incorporation of oriental and ancient motifs into modern carpets and rugs (Felton, A., Jewish Carpets,Suffolk, 1997, p.29).
This rug is an exceptional example of the Marbadiah integration of oriental design. The overall motif of flowers and vases within scalloped medallions originated with Sixteenth Century Safavid Persian Vase Carpets (Felton, p. 120). A strikingly similar rug from that century in the Baltimore Museum of Art displays these floral and vase motifs as well as the intricate vinery present in the Jerusalem carpet, and an almost identical border of single flowers alternating with smaller floral groups (Dimand, M.S., Mailey, Jean.Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Connecticut, 1973, p. 72-3, fig. 103). The vibrant reds, deep blues and rich browns also attest to the Persian heritage that inspired the Marbadiah designers