The notion of a rug or carpet being quintessential—which is to say definitively indicative of the singular aesthetic of its maker— is certainly nothing new. In fact, it is quite time honored and traditional. Kerman, Kashan, Heriz, and Tabriz—to name but a few—are iconic and easily recognized examples of names that came to define aesthetics inherent to a specific place and indeed time. Then of course there are renowned makers such as Hadji Jalili whose work still inspires replicas, just as there are now innumerable Heriz, et alia, made in disparate lands and of varying quality. The quintessence of these latter versions being indicative of what they are, not what they purport to be.
In the context of rugs and carpets we tend to equate the term traditional with designs originating from Persia. Most everything else seems to be modern or contemporary. Then again everything is modern in its time. Factor in classic motifs not originating in rugs such as the greek key, and while certainly traditional, they are often used in modern ways, transitioning—if you will—betwixt two loosely-defined styles that give rise to yet a third term of the trifecta of rug design, the catch-all “transitional.”