The knot count measures approximately 9V x 7H per cm. sq.
The term "Mohtasham" has become synonymous with the finest carpets made in Kashan in the late 19th century. Hajji Mollah Mohammed Hassan Mohtasham is regarded as one of a very small number of master weavers who successfully re-established Kashan as an important weaving centre in Persia at the end of the 19th century. The carpets produced in his atelier were masterfully woven using the finest materials in both soft hand-spun kurk wool and lustrous silk with the additional identifying structural features such as the light blue cotton wefts and purple silk selvages. The typical "Mohtasham" carpet is clearly drawn, with a curvilinear design, but with an execution that is somewhat angular (Adil Besim, Mythos und Mystik, Alte und Antike Textilkunst, vol.3, Vienna, 2000, no.49.
As all of the attributes associated with the work of the master weaver are present in this rug, it is tempting to assume that the workshop of Mohammed Hassan, inscribed in the cartouche of the present rug, is indeed that of the master weaver, Hajji Mollah Mohammed Hassan Mohtasham. Only six other published Kashan carpets prove undoubtedly that there exsisted a man by the name of Mohtasham with the inclusion in some of the work 'karkhane', 'workshop' within the inscription which dispells any conjecture as to his profession. The two rugs that bear his name in full are both in silk, yet it is with wool examples that he is best associated. Much discussion has been had as to when they were woven but only a couple are dated to the beginning of the 20th century, including one sold in these Rooms, 10 April 2008, lot 209. For a fuller discussion on this weaver see Ian Bennett , (Ian Bennett, 'The Myth of Mohtasham', HALI, Issue 35, 1987, pp.44-49) and Siawosch Azadi, (S.Azadi, 'The Mark of Mohtasham', Hali, Issue 160, 2009, p.68, fig. 2).