Beautiful Animal Design Antique Indian Agra Rug, Country of Origin: India, Circa Date: 1880 – Agra is a thriving city in the northern part of India that was once the capital of the Mughal Empire. It is the home of the famed Taj Mahal and is known for its world-renowned artwork. Another thing the city is known for is its exquisite rug designs that have traditions dating to the early 17th century. This beautiful piece was woven in the last quarter of the 1800s and demonstrates a few characteristics that make it unique.
The first Mughal Emperor brought back the art of rug weaving to India during a period of exile in Persia. While he was there, he had the opportunity to visit some of Persia’s court rug production centers and became enamored by their beauty. He wanted to bring this art back to India, so that his country, too, could experience some of the wealth this industry could bring. This was the beginning of the rug-weaving industry in Agra.
In the beginning, these rugs used many of the motifs that were popular in Persian rugs. Over time, Agra weavers began to develop their own unique style that is a mix between older Persian motifs and their own innovation. Many times, you will see animals that are unique to India, such as in this gorgeous piece.
The overall layout of the design reflects Persian aesthetics with areas of contrasting background and a vivid red central motif. The floral patterns are more angular than you typically find in Persian rugs and are much more as you would find in Caucasian rugs or local tile works found in architecture.
You will see a menagerie of animals that include lions, tigers bringing down a kill, gazelles, and many types of birds. These animals have a special meaning in Indian culture, and tell a story for those who know how to decipher it. You can also spot familiar Persian motifs, like cloud bands and lotus flowers. This rug has an abstract character that adds to its charm.
This one-of-a-kind piece of artwork has a formal feel that will complement traditional decor or a room of international treasures. It would be at home in a formal dining hall or any room where you need a special piece to serve as a conversation starter.