Within the carpet’s pile, the art of storytelling has been passed down from generation to generation through one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Detailed by wild and masculine motifs, this week’s Staff Pick showcases an incredible Tree of Life Hunting scene carpet. Continue reading to learn about the story of the rug and its symbolism.
In Persian carpets, a rough distinction is drawn between the two styles of carpets that artisans weave, village carpets and city carpets. Village carpets are rustic and tribal in design. City carpets differ because they incorporate a more refined weave and are typically pre-planned designs of a master weaver. City carpets usually take longer to complete but provide more detail and clarity in the motifs. Specifics may differ between carpets, but themes such as Persian gardens and the circle of life are in almost all fine Persian pieces, in either city or village carpets.
Traditionally, carpet designs symbolize the circle of life in less masculine ways. Five brown trees outlined in red or black detailing represent the tree of life and embody our connection between life and earth. In shades of blue, green, pink, purple, and cream wool, blooms of flowers symbolize the tranquil side of nature. As the branches cross and intertwine, birds appear in cream, gold, and black, cautious of approaching predators. Below the canopy, a more intense version of this story is told. Amongst the hunting scenes, flowers gently sit upon the blue background. Camouflaging themselves with the design, bees, butterflies, and caterpillars hide from the birds above. A multi-level border surrounds the field design and is home to additional hunting scenes and tree of life motifs. Though less dramatic than the field, the artisan also incorporated more cheerful motifs, including bird nests, hunting dogs, along with flowers and butterflies.
Not completely atypical in Persian city carpets, hunting scenes are usually less graphic in other examples. Similar to all of the other carpets in the Orley Shabahang Antique collection, this piece is exceptional and truly a one-of-a-kind carpet. If you like this antique Persian Tehran, look at our antique collection on our website or our digital showroom on 1stdibs.