This fine oriental area rug features a medallion in the center of its field inspired by Persian designs originating from the Iranian city of Isfahan. It has been carefully hand-knotted with a blend of pure silk and premium quality wool in northern Pakistan. It is in excellent condition and features a rich assortment of symbols. Symbolism in Persian rugs and Oriental rugs are passed down from generation to generation and were believed to protect the rug owners from misfortune.
A circular arrangement of motifs radiating out from the center medallion represent petals of a rose which symbolize innocence. The intricate peony flowers contained within its ruby red border are a symbol of power. The prominent symbols featured in its field are mainly pomegranates, lilies and leaves. The pomegranates here represent fertility and the leaves nestled between arabesque vines and lilies represent endless regeneration and purity respectively. Understanding how to "read" these symbols and patterns enables one to connect with the weaver's story, as well as community and society. At times, it can even provide historical insight and information on the best manner in which to showcase each work of art.
A Brief History of Isfahan Carpets
Isfahan, also spelled Isphahan, has long been one of the centers for production of the famous Persian Rug. Weaving in Isfahan flourished in the Safavid era. But when the Afghans invaded Iran, ending the Safavid dynasty, the craft also became stagnant.
Not until 1920s, between two world wars, was weaving again taken seriously by the people of Isfahan. They started to weave Safavid designs and once again became one of the most important nexus' of the Iranian rug weaving industry. Isfahani carpets today are among the most wanted in world markets, having many customers in western countries.
Isfahani rugs and carpets usually have ivory backgrounds with blue, rose, and indigo motifs. Rugs and carpets often have very symmetrical and balanced designs. They usually have a single medallion that is surrounded with vines and palmettos and are of excellent quality.
These carpets are often made up of pure silk. A combination of silk and wool is also sometimes found. These materials make up the pile of the rugs, while cotton is usually used to hand knot a strong and durable foundation. In finer Isfahans, silk is used as a base. To learn more about iranian rugs, visit our Persian Rugs section.
(Source & Insight : L'Art du tapis dans le monde, Collectif (inclunding Internal & Academic sources), Éditions Mengès, Paris, 1996. Unknown sources to be confirmed. All rights reserved)