The Language of Persian Rug Flower Designs
Hand-knotted rugs are filled with tradition and symbolism that goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Although not every design in the carpet has a significant meaning, many of them do have a meaning that goes beyond their beauty. During the Victorian Era, flowers and herbs were often given to another person to convey a specific meaning. The same concept is a part of ancient Chinese culture too. Persian carpets also have a language spoken by the plants and flowers that are included in them too.
Floral patterns are a common theme in Persian carpets. Garden inspired designs are the foundation for many carpet designs, including vase rugs and the tree of life. Many of the garden designs in carpets are reminiscent of the formal walled gardens that surrounded palaces and private estates. Garden designs convey a sense of beauty, but the individual plants and trees that are depicted also have a special meaning.
To understand the overall meaning of the carpet, you must look at the season that the carpet depicts. For instance, spring flowers represent a time of new beginnings, rebirth, and fertility. A carpet with full fruit trees ready to harvest and abundant summer flowers in bloom may represent a time of abundance and harvest. Fall would represent preparing for a time of rest. It would be safe to say that a majority of the carpets depict with spring or summer, representing a time of plenitude and growth.
The plants and trees in Persian carpets universally represent the intimate connection between man and the natural world. Often, the gardens on the carpets only exist in the mind’s eye of the designer. In some cases, it is possible that the designer reflected gardens that were experienced by them in real life, but there is no way of knowing if this is the case for sure. We do know that the designs are beautiful, regardless of whether the subject is real or imagined.
References to the Garden of Eden are also a theme that is found throughout the world. Sometimes this connection is clear, and at other times, it is subtle. For instance, you may find a snake hiding among the branches of a tree or other subtle hints to that theme.
The history of antique Oriental rugs from Persia dates back to 2,500 years ago, and symbols that are found throughout them are a result of the accumulation of symbols and cultural traditions over this long history. Many of the patterns and their meanings have been passed on orally down through the generations. It may be noted that some meanings differ from tribe to tribe and from region to region, but there are also some remarkable similarities too. Here are a few of the symbols that you may find in Persian carpets if you look closely.
Persian Rug Flower Designs As Well As Garden Symbols and Meanings
Flower Blossom Design
A flower that is only partially opened in the blossom stage stands for youth, newlyweds, spring, and an upcoming time of growth.
Cypress Tree Design
The cypress tree is one of the most common trees depicted in Persian carpets. They are also a part of formal gardens that are easily distinguished by their spiked peaks that tower above the rest of the garden, quietly watching over it. They stretch towards the sky with their roots planted firmly in the ground. In this way, they represent the connection between Earth and heaven. Cypress trees are evergreens and do not die in the winter. They are also a long-lived tree and are a sign of eternity. They represent eternal life beyond our Earthly existence and life after death.
Hyacinth Flower Design
The hyacinth symbolizes regeneration because it is one of the first flowers of spring. It is found in many carpets produced in cities and rural areas. It is found frequently in tribal rugs or village carpets.
Iris Flower Design
The iris symbolizes freedom of religion. It is a rare symbol that is not found often.
Leaves are a symbol of endless regeneration. They tell the story of the continuity of life and passing on from one generation to the next. Leaves are found in many different shapes and patterns. This beautiful sickle leaf carpet is an excellent example that features the leaf of the flower almost as much as the flower itself. It features beautiful, long, slender leavers in the border.
Lily Flower Design
The lily is a universal symbol associated with purity and spirituality. Lilies are found more often in older, antique carpets more so than in more recent ones.
Lotus Flower Design
The lotus is a symbol that is used in Persia and throughout the Orient, including China. The lotus is a sign of rebirth and immortality, similar in meaning to a cypress tree. It is similar in appearance to the peony and the Shah Abbas palmette.
You will often see many different stylized renditions of this symbol. It is one of the most popular used throughout many areas of the world, but it conveys a similar meaning in many cultures.
Peony Flower Design
The peony is a motif often found in city carpets. It is meant to convey power, rank, and wealth. Many times, it is similar to the Shah Abbas palmette and can be easily confused. The peony is a more straightforward design, whereas the Shah Abbas palmette will have more leaves and petals. It will also have more decoration. The peony represents the wealth and status of the Persian Empire.
The pomegranate is often depicted as the ripened fruit. It has connotations of the harvest and abundance. The pomegranate symbol is considered to be a symbol of good luck and fortune in the future. It also has the connotation of fertility in all areas of life. It is a symbol that has also been stylized into many different forms.
Rose Flower Design
Many do not consider the rose to be a traditional symbol of Persia, but several species of rose were well-known in the Persian Empire. One of these is the damask rose, which has a beautiful full scent used to make rose water. Roses depicted in carpets stand for different things according to their color. White roses stand for innocence, and red roses stand for passion.
Tree of Life Design
The tree of life is a favorite motif in Persian carpets. Sometimes, you will find an entire carpet based on the tree of life. Other times, the tree of life will be rendered as a small symbol in a more elaborate design. However, the meaning is always the same, and it represents a direct path to heaven. It also has connotations surrounding the Garden of Eden and the creation of all abundance on Earth. In this respect, it also stands for gratitude for the abundance that we have from the plant and animal kingdom. Sometimes birds are found within the tree of life which is also a symbol of good fortune. Some spectacular examples exist that feature this theme.
Tulips Flower Design
Tulips are often depicted in vibrant colors. Many times, you will find more than one type of tulip design in the same rugs. For instance, you may find a mixture of single and double tulips. The tulip is used to express the birth of a male child. It also represents prosperity. As they are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, they are also a harbinger of growth and new beginnings.
We hope that you have enjoyed your stroll through our garden at Nazmiyal Antique Rugs. We encourage you to continue to look around. We have a large selection of carpets that offer a delightful garden of color and design. As you look through our collection, perhaps you will find the one that you must have for your own peaceful sanctuary.