Antique Rug Motifs: Boteh Plants – Also refereed to as Paisley design
Meanings of Boteh Plant Motifs / Paisley Design in Antique Rugs and Carpets
The Boteh ( Paisley Design ) plant, more commonly known in the West as “paisley,” is incredibly common in the rugs of many different cultures, especially those located in the Middle East. The word “boteh” comes from the Persian word for shrub or bush. Alternate names for the motif include “Persian Pickles” in America, and “Welsh Pears” in western Europe. The symbol is particularly prevalent in wool or silk textiles from the areas of Kashmir in India, and Kerman in Iran.
The Boteh symbol is often seen in the shape of a teardrop, however clusters of these shapes, or more abstracted versions of the shape are also prevalent. Commonly, this motif represents the ideas of eternal life and fertility, and can also symbolize fire, and the season of autumn. It is often used to symbolize expectant mothers and pregnancy.
Below are a few examples of antique rugs in the Nazmiyal Collection which incorporate the Boteh (or Paisley Design) plant motif. Click on the images to learn more about each rug: