Beautiful Antique Tribal Paisley Design Persian Malayer Long Runner Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Persian Rugs, Circa Date: 1910’s – Malayer rugs are known for their exquisite and ancient tribal patterns. This runner rug from the early 1900s has a classic design with an interesting history. The rich midnight blue background of the field creates contrast with the earthy browns and gentle pinks of the design. The result is a delightful contrast that adds elegance and charm.
The design of this rug is an all-over pattern that features the ancient “boteh” symbol. This is a symbol that goes back to the ancient Zoroastrian religion and would later develop into what we know now as the paisley design. The literal translation of the word means “shrub,” but it is sometimes referred to as the “seed.” You can see the new growth sprouting from the top and the young roots at the bottom. This symbol is also known as the “eternal flame” and represents the everlasting fire that was kept in temples.
Regardless of the interpretation of this symbol and its connection to modern paisley designs, it is a fascinating piece visually and historically. The rows of boteh motifs are arranged in a way that gives the piece movement and a wave-like feel. The detail inside of each of them gives it a delicate feel that will add grace and sophistication to any space.
Another detail to note in this piece is that the corners form a symbol that is known as the amulet. It is a protection from negative forces. Tucked into the corners, you will also notice small human figures. Typically, when figures are found in a tribal rug, they represent female figures, as women are often the primary creators of these pieces. In this case, the figures might be males dressed in the traditional regalia worn by Zoroastrian priests, a reference to the keepers of the eternal flame. We will never know for certain, but it does add one more element of interest to this piece.
Every Malayer rug has a story to tell, and the ancient symbols in this one create many more questions than they answer. This runner rug is a perfect piece for a hallway or to create a vignette along a wall. It would also make a striking addition to an entryway or connect two areas of the home or office. Our team of rug experts at Nazmiyal will be happy to you with any questions you might have about this piece or any of the other rugs in our fine gallery.