A Beautiful Fine Weave Small Size Antique Blue Persian Herati Design Antique Senneh Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Antique Persian Rug, Circa Date: Early 20th Century – This magnificent herati, or “fish” design rug from the early twentieth century creates a regal feel in the room. It’s fine weave gives it a soft, luxurious texture and allows its highly detailed design to stand out. The colors are warm and have an earthy feel. This rug will put the finishing touches on a room of traditional furniture, or it will add a vintage feel to a contemporary design.
The Herati design is one that you are likely to find as you explore the world of Persian rugs. It creates an overall tiled pattern that gives it a sense of formality. Although you will find regional stylistic differences in this pattern, it can be easily recognized by the four “fish” surrounding a central floral design. The central floral motif is typically surrounded by a square or diamond border. It is sometimes called the “Mahi” design, which translates into “fish” in Farsi-speaking regions.
Many of the symbols used in Persian rugs have a story behind them, and the Herati design is one of them. One of the explanations for the design is that it references the story of Mehr, or Mithra, the God of light, oaths, and covenants. Mehr is known as the protector of truth and good. The legend is that Mehr was born in the water on a lotus flower. Fish in the surrounding water cared for the infant. The Herati design represents good luck throughout the region.
Some researchers believe that the central design of the Herati was once a human face. When Persia came under Muslim rule, Persian artists were no longer allowed to portray human figures in their artwork. It is believed that they began including the floral motifs, most often a lotus flower, in the design during this time.
The fish is a holy animal in both the ancient Zoroastrian and Islam religion. Eventually, the “fish” surrounding the floral design became stylized to resemble acanthus leaves, which represent immortality. On the border of this rug, you will also find the eight-pointed star, which also represents good luck.
Many associate the origins of this design with the trading center in the city of Herat, but it is found throughout the region. Persian rug design often uses nature as its inspiration, but the Herati design also has a fascinating story. This rug will be a topic of conversation in any room and will give the design an elegant, cozy feel.