Persian Gonbad Rugs

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Elegant and Sophisticated Of Persian Gonbad Rugs

What Is a Persian Gonbad Design Rug?

The word “Gonbad” translates from Farsi into “dome” in English. It refers to the ornate domes that are found in Mosques throughout the world. Therefore, Persian Gonbad rugs are those carpets that mimic the design and architecture of a mosque dome. The gonbad design features ornate concentric circles that radiate from a central, around the central rug medallion. The field of the rug is often filled with intricate floral patterns in fine detail.

Persian Gonbad Rugs and Mosque Domes by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Persian Gonbad Rugs and Mosque Domes

In many Persian Gonbad rugs, you can see the visual representation of what would be columns and mihrab, or Islamic prayer niches, surrounding the dome. These artistic rugs are meant to give the visual representation of looking up at the ceiling of a mosque dome. One of the elements that stands out about this specific Persian rug design pattern is the use of perspective. Many of them do not appear to be flat surfaces, giving a feeling of distance as you move toward the center of the rug. They mimic the arches of the circular dome, creating a dimensional effect.

Gonbad rugs are often in brilliant colors and have layers of intricate designs, just like the architectural feature that they represent. You can find them made of wool, silk, and a blend of these two fibers. The shimmer of silk gives them a sublime quality and creates a glow in the room as it catches the light. One technique that you will find in gonbad rugs is the use of wool for a majority of the design and using bright white silk to define certain features of the motif to make them stand out. Rugs of this design are woven with great care, and you will often find them with metallic threads throughout.

Persian rugs are some of the most beautiful in the world. They come in a range of colors and variety of patterns that are perfect for any decor. One of the most striking patterns are those rugs that boast a design that is referred to as “Gonbad”. These are mesmerizing and show a masterful level of artistry. They are one of the rarer designs, and if you have the opportunity to see one in person, you will understand why they are some of the most prized in the world.

Meaning and Significance Of The Gonbad / Dome

The design of the rug is intimately interwoven with the history and meaning of the architectural feature that it represents. Gonbad is the Farsi word for the dome (usually of a mosque), and in Arabic, it is called “Qubba”. It is one of the most recognizable features of Islamic art and architecture. Certain architectural features are a requirement in mosques, such as the mihrab (prayer niche) and minaret (tower). The dome is not a religious requirement, but many mosques have one or more.

The Dome Exterior Of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan Iran by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

The Dome Exterior Of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan Iran

Even though the dome is not a necessity, it does have symbolic significance as it is a representation of the heavens and celestial features. It also creates a recognizable space for gathering. The patterns on the dome are meant to inspire a sense of awe and evoke a feeling of the divine. It represents the vault of heaven, and the floral patterns represent the idea of heaven on earth. It is also a symbol of power. The geometric patterns on the dome of the mosque are breathtaking, and so are the Persian Gonbad rugs that they inspired.

Interior Dome / Gonbad At Shah Mosque in Isfahan Iran by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Interior Dome / Gonbad At Shah Mosque in Isfahan Iran

Although the appearance of domes on mosques dates back to 691, with the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (which was built between 685 and 691), domes did not become a prominent feature in the Islamic architecture until the 12th century. Domes were often placed in front of the mihrab to create a sense of open space. Most of the earliest mosques in Persia began to appear during the Safavid Dynasty from 1501-1732, which is also a time when rug weaving entered its golden age. You will also find similar domes in many public buildings, such as palaces and other large buildings.

Gonbad Dome Design In Registan Mosque Samarkand Uzbekistanby Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Gonbad Dome Design In Registan Mosque Samarkand Uzbekistan

Inspired Artistic Mosque Dome Design

The mosque domes that inspired gonbad design rugs have been around for centuries. From a technical standpoint, gonbad rugs are some of the most difficult to weave. They must be created with precision or the design will not have the perfect symmetry that is the core essence of these breathtaking handwoven area rugs. The gonbad design rugs that considered the best are created with a high knot per inch count because of the need to weave intricate patterns and exact designs. Occasionally, you might find them in lower know counts, but it is not common and these more commercial rugs are not a good reflection of the meaning behind the pattern.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque Dome Interior by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque Dome Interior in Isfahan Iran

The domes of mosques often have a kaleidoscope of color that is almost hard to describe with words. They feature flawless symmetry and precision that requires years of practice and the utmost skill to achieve. The breathtaking area rugs that were inspired by these architectural features have the same features carried out in exquisite detail.

Gonbad rugs feature waves of color that radiate from the center, and in many cases, create a feeling of movement like rippling waves. Some call these rugs “leaf rugs” because the radiating motifs resemble leaves. Many of them do not have a dominant background color as you find in designs of many other modern and vintage Persian rugs because there is little background that shows in this design.

Gonbad rugs tend to have a tremendous amount of finely woven detailed design work, but their organization creates a harmonious and orderly design that keeps it from becoming overwhelming to the senses. The floral patterns of the rugs are often rendered in perfect symmetry in keeping with the overall organization of the carpet. Some describe the gonbad design as reminiscent of the rays of the sun. Some gonbad rugs have minimal borders, which accentuates this characteristic, while others have a feeling of grand spatial elements. The design often extends off the edges of the carpet, allowing the mind to imagine the space around the rug.

Styles of Persian Gonbad Rugs

Gonbad rugs are typically associated with vintage Persian Tabriz rugs, but you can find them in Persian Qum rugs , Nain rugs and vintage Persian Isfahan rugs as well as others . The Persian Tabriz rugs that boast the gonbad pattern are considered to be some of the most traditionally classic examples of this rug design.

Kaleidoscope Geometry At Jameh Mosque in Yazd Iran by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Kaleidoscope Geometry At Jameh Mosque in Yazd Iran

Of these rugs, Tabriz designs tend to feature the widest variety of colors. The fine Persian silk rugs from Nain and Qom tend to have more subdued color palettes. You can also find the gonbad design is a variety of shapes and rug sizes such as square, octagonal, and round rugs from these areas. Shaped weaving requires even more exceptional skill and mastery of the techniques.

Using Gonbad Rugs in Interior Design

The dome of the mosque creates a focal point for gathering, and a Gonbad rug can create a focal point in the room. The beautiful area rugs create a sensory experience in the room, much like the domes that inspired their designs. Placing the more boldly colored rugs next to a black couch in a neutral room creates a striking design. These Persian rugs are the perfect way to add color to the room and create a masterful room design that stands out for its use of color and artistry.

Gonbad rugs are a beautiful addition to traditional or contemporary designs. The colors and design are striking and the workmanship shows an exceptional level of skill. At Nazmiyal Rugs, we are proud to offer a selection of these fine rugs for your home or office. A gonbad rug always makes a statement and inspires a sense of awe.
This rug blog that talks about the history of the Persian Gonbad Rugs was published by Nazmiyal Rug Gallery In NYC.

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