Animal Pelt Antique Rug Designs

Antique Rug Motifs: Animal Pelt

Meanings of Animal Pelt Motifs in Antique Rugs and Carpets

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The Animal Pelt  motifs and symbols can be found in antique rugs from many different cultures. Animal pelt motifs are traditionally a symbol of power, courage and strength, and hunting prowess.

Tigers are a particularly common animal pelt motif seen in antique rugs and carpets. Representations of tiger pelts were portrayed on Tibetan rugs to symbolize wisdom. A double-headed tiger skin motif represents both the male and female aspect.

Hindu and Buddhist spiritual teachers used these carpets to receive devotees and for meditation. Animal pelt motifs used by Tantric Buddhists include representations of flayed elephants, tigers and humans. These carpets were used in rituals and symbolize detachment from the body.

Animal Pelt Motif in Antique Khotan Rug By Nazmiyal
Animal Pelt Motif in antique rug design.

In many vintage and newer rug designs, animal pelt motifs are more decorative and tongue-in-cheek than culturally symbolic. For example, in this vintage Scandinavian Rya rug, a deconstructed tiger pelt is featured as a reference to animal skin rugs. Instead of actually being made from fur, this “tiger skin rug” is woven from wool.

Think of it as a more eco-friendly way to indulge in your safari-hunt fantasies!

Antimal Pelt Design in a Vintage Swedish Rya Rug 48037 by Nazmiyal
Vintage Swedish Rya Rug 48037