Beautiful and Elegant Collection of Antique Tapestries and Tapestry Rugs

Antique Tapestries – A wall hanging tapestry, simply put, is a textile specifically designed and woven to portray an artistic scene with the intent of hanging it on a wall. An antique tapestry would be one that was produced at least 100 years ago. Antique tapestries are highly sought after collectible items with examples displayed prominently in many museums around the world.

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While some wall tapestries can date to the biblical era, most of the great examples known today are from the medieval or Renaissance periods of history. Nobility and wealthy patrons commissioned tapestries depicting scenes or images of importance. The tapestry served as a large-scale mobile art piece which would have been displayed on the wall of a castle or home and was easily transportable from home to home.

Many of the surviving antique tapestries depict religious and / or historic events. For example, a king might have commissioned an antique tapestry with a scene depicting a great victory in battle. As the king moved to his various palaces or castles the tapestry could be moved along with him as well. Another example could be a religious antique tapestry, commissioned by a religious institution and some would only be displayed at the church or cathedral during certain religious events. Other wall tapestries might display images of a family and those would usually depict the family’s coats of arms. Antique tapestries vary in size, and range from items that would cover a single wall of a small room to major works that are massive in size. Some antique wall hanging tapestry rugs are actually sets or a series of works on a common theme.

Weavers used the natural materials available at the time. Wool, cotton, silk and linen threads were dyed to the desired colors before weaving. Some tapestries also included gold and silver thread accents. Sadly enough, in the past, there were owners who destroyed some of these tapestries to recover the precious metals leaving fewer examples of this  breathtaking form of the art.

A tapestry is largely thought of as a European form of textile art. Most of the major countries of Europe did produce tapestries with a highly developed art forms evident in Germany, Spain, Belgium, France and more. Antique Tapestry rug weavers continue to produce works of textile art till this very day so not every tapestry is an antique.

Antique Tapestries are perhaps the most venerable and highly prized medium of textile art. Tapestries have been woven almost from the beginning of weaving itself, and already in ancient times, this technique was adapted to pictorial compositions as well as ornamental designs. Antique Tapestries or ‘Woven paintings’ of this kind were known to the court arts of Egypt, the ancient Near East, and the Greeks and Romans as well. It was this ancient tradition that was passed down through the Middle Ages into the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe, where pictorial tapestry rugs became a medium of painting in its own right utilizing designs by all the great ‘Old Masters’. Nazmiyal is proud to offer a distinguished collection of such European antique tapestries whose historic importance or value is equal to their beauty and elegance as great works of art.

Trend Alert: Hanging Wall Tapestries As  Art

Newsflash — tapestries are trending! It’s been some 40 years since tapestries have been a trending item. Now, they’re reaching new horizons. This is a true comeback story of an old and sometimes under-appreciated art form that’s receiving a major makeover and a huge popularity boost.

Modern Interior with Tapestry on Wall Nazmiyal
Modern Interior with Tapestry on Wall

Trendsetters in Paris welcomed the tapestry craze in 2013 by hosting an important and forward-thinking exhibition focusing on modern tapestries and rugs with an urban flavor. The Pompidou Center’s “Decorum” collection was the largest textile exhibit ever displayed at the Musée d’Art Moderne.

It included everything from Picasso carpets to modern tapestries depicting plush sneakers, a furry bathrobe and a supersized Welsh corgi. Smaller galleries in Germany, Italy and China are currently enjoying this “Neo Craft” movement that has brought new artists into the spotlight.

Around the world, traditional neoclassical and baroque tapestries in the style of Aubusson, the Savonnerie and Flanders are experiencing a revival. The famous “Lady and the Unicorn” series recently toured Japan and has brought renewed interest in an art form that was once considered superior to painting. Neoclassical and antique Flemish tapestries like the one spotted in the hit drama Downton Abbey are popping up on the runway.

Wall tapestry fashions from Dolce & Gabbana, Anthropologie and shoemaker Jeffrey Campbell artfully blend neoclassical designs with Bohemian variations reminiscent of Bessarabian blossoms, colorful Karabagh bouquets and the high-contrast flowers found in Russian lacquer-ware. This melding of couture and folk art is making its way from elite fashion houses to mainstream brands and home interiors.

Opulent Interior Design with Antique Tapestry Nazmiyal
Opulent Interior Design with Antique Tapestry on wall

Hand woven tapestries and limited-edition works are also gaining favor. Eccentric tapestries, both vintage and contemporary, are appearing in stylish interiors everywhere. Small wall hangings impart an eclectic flavor while larger textural works have an experiential effect. Shaggy vintage Swedish rya tapestry rugs, flat-weave kilims in the Navajo style and colorful Bauhaus works that employ advanced slit weaving techniques or use a combination of materials and weaving methods are trending as well.

These unique items are often one-of-a-kind or created for limited production runs. Design and production aspects also align with increasing preferences for rustic and handmade creations that have a raw natural beauty. Inside and on the street, this is what’s trending in 2015, the year of the wall  tapestry.

Choosing a Rug as Tapestry Art for Wall Hanging

Rugs for Wall Hanging – Although created as floor covering, smaller rugs also make excellent wall hangings or furniture coverings. A good antique with an effective design worthy of sustained attention will work much like a painting when hung on the wall.

Rugs As Art Home Decorating by Nazmiyal
Rugs As Art Home Decorating

This is why many people choose to display their Rugs as Wall Hangings. Prayer rugs with architectural niche compositions are especially effective on the wall, where they function like windows, so as to expand or open up the space of the room. Supple antique rugs are wonderful as “throws” on a sofa or chair, and they make lovely bedspreads or tablecloths.

Rugs As Artistic Wall Hangings by nazmiyal
Rugs As Artistic Wall Hangings

Indeed, when Oriental rugs were first imported to Europe they were considered too precious to be walked on, but were used instead as tablecloths.

As an example, the leather couch for the patients in Sigmund Freud’s famous office in Vienna was covered by his prized Qasghai’i rug. Many people throughout the years have been using rugs as wall hangings and view them as prized textile art pieces.

While rugs might be considered to be “pricey”, they are nowhere near the price points that paintings are. For a fraction of the price that a great master painting might cost, people could acquire textiles and rugs that have the same, if not more, of an artistic impact. View our Consumer Guide to Buying Oriental Rugs to learn more.

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View our vintage and antique Tapestries for sale below:

Showing 1–32 of 56 results

Showing 1–32 of 56 results