Persepolis Inspired Design Antique Persian Tapestry / Textile #49022, Origin Country: Persia, Woven Around The: 1920’s – Standing apart from many classical pieces that focus on the symbolic and abstract of the natural world, this beautiful Persian textile establishes a powerful degree of contrast and form to focus on the humans at the core of the antique textile. Several royal figures of all types of occupations and garbs are featured interacting with each other. Alongside these figures are numerous mythological beasts, including sphinxes and great eagles. The mythological scene is set against an eggshell white backdrop that highlights the vibrant colors of the foreground, which include rich, warm red and elegant, royal blue.
This gorgeous Persian textile reflects the Zoroastrian roots of Persian culture. The tapestry features repeating motifs that depict the ruling class and ecclesiastical characters. It also features some of the most iconic elements of ancient Persian culture and mythology. This tapestry was created around the 1920’s and is a beautiful piece for a collection or special occasion. Let’s explore the story this rug has to tell and meet some of the characters.
Lions parade around the outside of the textile, providing protection and strength to the figures inside. Persian culture dates to 1,220 BC, and the lion is a symbol that remained consistent in its association with the ruling class. The most common representation is a lion holding a sword in front of the sun, but in this piece, the sword and sun do not appear.
Winged representations of Anahita, the Persian Goddess of water and fertility, floats above the royalty. She represents the feminine and often wears a crown of stars. Anahita is also a goddess of war.
A priest invokes Huma, the legendary mythical bird from the Sufic tradition. Huma was said to never land and lived his entire life in flight. In this tapestry, Huma’s feet do not touch the ground. He is considered a compassionate creature and a bird of good fortune. According to legend, he flies so high that he is next to impossible to spot. If you are fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of him, you are said to live a life of happiness for the rest of your life. If Huma sat on your head, you were destined to become King.
Another mythical creature of note is Gopaitioshah, who is a winged bull with a human face. This figure has been represented in artwork since the late second millennium BC. He represented royalty and power. Surrounding these human and mythological creatures is a border of roses, which signifies beauty and perfection.
Now that you understand the symbols of this beautiful wall hanging tapestry, it makes you appreciate its workmanship and significance even more. This piece is small enough to hang on the wall, or it could serve as a table covering for a special mezza table. Regardless of how you decide to use it in your home or office, it is a magnificent piece of Persian history.