Coat of Arms Designs in Rugs

Antique Rug Symbols: Coat of Arms

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What are coat of arms?

A Coat of Arms is a symbolic design that identifies a person, lineage, family, political or commercial entity. As Oriental carpets gained popularity in the West, weavings were commissioned by European nobility and royalty. The heraldic design of a family or dynasty was often incorporated into the carpet pattern.

Flemish tapestry weaving in the 1600s often featured coats of arms as major design elements. This stylistic element was used in French Savonnerie and Aubusson weavings, in part because artisans who fled the Netherlands became established as weavers in their new countries and incorporated the motif into a new medium.

Coat of Arms Motifs

Many say the origin of the coat of arms motifs actually goes back to the surcoat itself. This is the fabric or cloth that made up the tunic that was worn over the armor. The purpose of this surcoat was to shield the armor from the sun’s potent rays. The motif or pattern was then repeated on the bearer’s arms, banner, and shield. This type of image typically displays that herald a country’s participation in battle or warfare.

These coat of arms motifs often display depictions of walls of a fortress, water, fire, clouds, and land. These were colorful images that serve to distinguish the soldiers who wore them from their foes. At the same time, they were valuable and important when it came to representing countrymen. This was one of the many ways that patriotism was shown and expressed at that time.

Coat of arms motifs date back to the medieval period in Europe. Horses and lions are two of the most commonly used animal figures on these motifs. Over time they moved away from simply being associated with battle, however. These arms displays ended up being used to denote things like family descent and even professions.

Small Coat of Arms Design Antique Persian Kerman Rug Nazmiyal

A coat of arms motif on a Persian Kerman carpet.

Modern Uses of Motifs

Today, it is still possible to see coat of arms motifs being applied in different ways by European countries. These are displayed on flags and various types of apparel to represent the country, primarily in pageantry efforts. Special occasions, national events, and even greeting ally leaders are reasons to utilize emblems, such as these. Although these are not utilized in the same battle methods as they were hundreds of years ago, they are still extremely important.

Changing times and much important advancement in technology have allowed individuals and corporations to manufacture items with these displays. It doesn’t matter whether the objective is to produce apparel or decorative rugs. These can be done with attention to detail for the unique features that these motifs need to showcase.

Antique Flemish Heraldic Tapestry of a Spanish Noble Admiral Nazmiyal

A coat of arms motif on a Flemish tapestry.

Decorate with a Theme

These coat of arms are often purchased by homeowners as a way to connect with a family’s heritage. Commercial property owners and businesses also want these pieces for similar reasons. Antique rugs of this sort are terrific works of art when placed in grand foyers, entryways, or in specific locations in a home or business. Because of their authentic designs and displays they can be used to introduce color in the room.

It is possible to use these antique rugs as focal points in a living space or in an office setting. They can be used to decorate the entire room. Harmonizing furnishings that repeat the colors and patterns in these rugs is an eye-catching décor approach. The coat of arms motifs alone captures the attention of guests and clients alike. At the same time, it is possible to make a stylish impression in these spaces no matter what the setting happens to be.

Some interior designers will use these themes for business clients to incorporate ancient sentiments in specific spaces. Homeowners also benefit from decorating with products, such as rugs with these depictions. They are exciting pieces to use in a variety of interior spaces even when there is no family or heritage connection to the motif. Depending on the size and shape of these pieces, it is possible to create extremely unique designs in essentially any room or any setting.

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