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This social history of Iranian carpets traces their production, use, and exchange from the fifteenth century until World War II, highlighting in particular the carpet boom from 1873 to 1914. Over these five centuries, the Iranian hand-knotted, piled carpet shifted from an object made primarily for the Islamic Middle East to a commodity that by the twentieth century constituted Iran's largest nonpetroleum export to the West.
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Leonard M. Helfgott is professor of history at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
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