Biography of Haj Mehdi Khan Safdarzadeh Haghighi
Carpet weaving dates back to 110 years ago in the family of Safdarzadeh Haghighi. The father, the late Haj Mehdi Khan was born in 188l in Esfahan in a committed, religious family. At about 12 years of age, he was trained by masters such as Master Abdolsamad Eslimi, Master Abdolmotaleb Shoureshi and Master Abdolrahim Khan Shoureshi who were his relatives. At that time, he played in his tum a significant role in the revival of the hand-made carpet art and industry which has unfortunately been abandoncd in the Qujar Dynasty.
For the 1* time, he established a centralized loom (workshop) in Naghshe Jahan( Emam) Square and was busy training carpet weaving. Due to the prominent talent he had expressed, he was independently entrusted with the mastery of a carpet frame at the very age of 15 years.
He was famous at the age of 18 as Ostad Mehdi Khan and chose the business of carpet weaving as his major job with interest and perseverance. He initially started the business in his own house with a few carpet frames. From the very beginning, the merchants active in the carpet trade got acquainted and concluded prepurchase contracts with him to develop his business. At 21 years of age, marriage, family formation and carpet weaving merged into his familial and internal life, he became particularly specialized in wool and silk herbal dyeing and he did this job, which exacted much patience and time, at home. One of the features of Ostad Mehdi Khan’s carpets in the eyes of Iranian and foreign merchants was their original and herbal dyes which still express themselves everywhere there is a piece of old carpet of Ostad Mehdi Khan whose 1* son Gholamali, was born to develop the family. At this time, he established a carpet loom in Esfahan in cooperation with the Red Crescent and French Consul for the jews minority of Esfahan. Most famous carpet traders of Ferdosi St. in Tehran were mainly apprentices at the same carpet loom.
In order to optimize carpet motifs, this educated master was in cooperation and investigation with the famous masters of painting of Esfahan such as Mirza Agha Emami, Haj Mossaverolmolki and others. Haj Mehdi Khan died in 1968 and left 7 sons whose eldest one, Master Gholamali Khan, was the founder of carpet weaving in Esfahan Technical School of Fine Arts. The famous rugs of Human Cycle Hunting and Marine Star can be mentioned as the samples of his works which were produced and woven in cooperation with Master Issa Bahadori in Esfahan Technical School. Later. supported by his younger brother, Master Feizollah Khan who had been graduated in miniature from the Fine Arts Technical School, wove the 121 m2 carpet of National Council Assembly, which has been designed ordered by the Royal Court for the guests hall in that building. It is now a priceless and matchless work in Tehran National Carpet Museum.
For the artistic talent and faculty these 2 brothers had expressed, they were commended by the Shah and continued to be entrusted with the weaving of the portraits of the world’s kings which were expected to be granted to them by the Shah in the Royal 2500- year celebrations. They perfectly fulfilled this obligation and this was deemed a long and effective step in introducing Persian art of carpet weaving. Later. Master Feizollah Khan made use of his own artistic experience and took actions to weave priceless and matchless carpet boards from the most beautiful historic monuments landscapes of Iran. The carpet boards of Esfahan Naghshe Jahan Square, Vakil Mosque of Shiraz, Chaharbagh School, Grave Carpet, Abbassi Mosque minaret top, Taghe Zebarjad Square Carpet, Altar, Khaja Nasirolmolk of Shiraz and many other modern and traditional fine works of the designs of Persian carpet great designers such as Ostad Rostam Shirazi, Ostad Archang, Ostad Hafizi, ete can be mentioned as the works of this Master. Within recent 20 years in which numerous competitions and festivals have been held, he has mainly been the winner and has been introduced to the world’s artistic community with Brand Iran-Esfahan, F. Haghighi through titles such as the creator of the best, the most precious urban carpets.
2 other sons of the late Master Mehdi Khan. Mr. Haj Yadollah Khan and Master Haj Nasrollah Khan are at present included in the artist, innovative, creative forerunning masters active in the business of creating unique, artistic hand-woven works. They have preserved and developed their father’s precious heritage especially in the business of herbal dyeing and protection of carpet genuineness. Every year, their works have been marveled at and praised. The famous carpets of the 7 cities of love, granted to the museum of the holy court of the 8″ Emam, and the carpet of the Blood of God, ready to be granted to the holly court of Hazrate Sayedolshohada(PBUH), Sun’s Motif, the Kaaba, the Illuminated Medina, ete can be mentioned as the works of Haj Yadollah Khan. Fortunately, the 3 generation of this family continue activity and innovation along with academic studies to perfect this familial and cultural art. They intend to celebrate the names of their grandfathers that have been merged into this cultural art and declare that Haghighi carpet is a perpetual reality, Engineer Hormoz, engineer Mohammad Mehdi and engineer Amir Hossein, Alireza, Mohammad Reza and Hamzeh Safdarzadeh Haghighi can be mentioned as the carpet producing grandchildren.