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Posted on: September 3, 2019

Vintage Persian Zabol Carpet

Looking to add a piece of history to your decor? This vintage Persian Zabol carpet with its mod colorway and geometric motifs may just be the blast from the past that your space needs!

This vintage Persian Zabol carpet depicts geometric wild horses of brown and mustard hues as well as Zoroastrian symbols of the same colors on a cream background. The floral border is a colorful purple, green, and blue.

Woven in 1940, this vintage Zabol carpet measures 3’9″ x 6’4″. This wool carpet remains in excellent condition as it has aged beautifully throughout the years like a fine wine. The handspun, vegetable-dyed yarn becomes more supple and soft as time goes by because the lanolin (a naturally occurring oil on sheep’s wool) continues to rise to the top of the carpet as it is walked on. Like many well-made Persian carpets, this textile is a great investment as it will continue to survive for generations.

This vintage Persian Zabol carpet depicts geometric wild horses of brown and mustard hues as well as Zoroastrian symbols of the same colors on a cream background. The floral border is a colorful purple, green, and blue.

This particular piece is a great example of the weaving in Zabol, a village on the western border of Iran. Prevalent throughout the design are various symbolic motifs that allude to the ancient religion of this region called Zoroastrianism. It features a geometric display of leaping horses symmetrically placed within an intricately decorated cream field. The horses are balanced by representations of Ahura Mazda, the highest diety in the Zoroastrian tradition. Additionally, there are many four-part figures depicting the four natural elements of earth, wind, water and fire. These elements are considered sacred within the context of Zoroastrianism. The border is equally intricate with its multiple bands and alternating patterns that find themselves somewhere between arabesques and outlined geometries.

Throughout the field and border there is a unique combination of colors including cream, gold, deep blues and reds, and bright pinks and greens. This color palette is reminiscent of the mid-century modern designs of its time, which are still relevant if not dominant in today’s furnishings. Like many village rugs, the yarn in this Zabol carpet was dyed using regional plant-based dyes. Needless to say, the design and color palette are beautifully proportioned and balanced throughout the piece.

A detail image of this vintage Persian Zabol carpet shows the symbols in the field more clearly, revealing a range of colors from green to purple, yellow to blue, and light brown to black.

Like what you see? Find more of Orley Shabahang’s unique vintage collection on our 1stdibs storefront, in the 1stdibs Gallery, or on our website.