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Posted on: April 27, 2021

Antique Spotlight – Persian Malayer Carpet

Of numerous villages located in the Hamadan province, the city of Malayer is amongst the most notable. As can be found throughout the rest of the Hamadan region, Malayer is known for its fine carpets, and this week’s Antique Spotlight features one of Orley Shabahang’s finest examples from the Malayer tribe. Continue reading to learn about this carpet’s symbolism and what makes it exceptionally fine.

When comparing most village rugs to Malayer pieces, Malayer rugs tend to have more decorative patterns and designs within the field. These carpets also have a primary indigo tone and secondary tones of green, watermelon, light blue, salmon, gold, and tan. Additionally, they tend to have at least one of the following: cypress trees, botehs (paisleys), Herati and may have stand-alone flower motifs. With this information, our antique example is undeniably a Malayer carpet.

Though this carpet is antique, crafted circa 1900, its harmonious hues, soft pile, and durable foundation make this carpet timeless. The woolen pile is hand-knotted onto the cotton warp and weft, featuring natural hues of indigo, gold, blue, orange, pink, and neutral tans. The shade of the pile has remained melodic over time, resulting in a sophisticated color palette. What makes this piece exceptional is the fineness of the weave. This allowed weavers to seamlessly incorporate phoenix motifs, alternating in direction, amongst numerous geometric vases with blooms of flowers.

Within the Persian culture, the phoenix symbolizes an empress, while the plotted flowers symbolize happiness and love. These motifs, detailed in brown, blue, pink, tan, and orange wool, contrast flawlessly with the rich indigo background. With the overall design depicting a Persian flower garden, the exterior border then acts as the outer walkway. The exterior is detailed with a more neutral color palette and consists of subdued blue, orange, and pink wool. Additional phoenix, caterpillar, and flower designs intertwine around the field and symbolize a classic tale: the circle of life. Each creature depends on one another to survive, and the deeper message adds to the elegance and character of the piece. 

As this carpet measures 4’5″ x 6’6″, this rug would be an ideal fit for a bedroom, living room, entryway, or wherever a small area rug is needed. If this antique Malayer impresses, and you would like to see additional options, check out our antique collection via our website, or take a gander at our digital showroom via 1stdibs.com.