Posted on: November 5, 2019

Vintage Spotlight – Persian Zabol Carpet

Inspired by Zoroastrian principles, the weaver of this Persian Zabol carpet creates a timeless masterpiece. Continue reading to learn what makes this vintage Persian carpet such a unique vintage rug.

This vintage Persian Zabol carpet shows three stacked cross motifs with a Persian garden in each center.

Woven in 1940, this Persian Zabol carpet measures 4′ x 6’6″ and is in excellent vintage condition. The name Zabol follows the town where this carpet was woven. Formerly known as Sistan, Zabol dates back 5,000 years. Because of its proximity to Lake Hamun, an important Zoroastrian pilgrimage site, Sistan historically had a strong connection with the ancient religion. This is evident when looking at the design of this vegetable-dyed carpet comprised of handspun wool.

This Persian Zabol carpet shows three stacked cross motifs with a Persian garden in each center. There are colorful abstract peacock and phoenix motifs in the space between the crosses with a multi-band border.

This Persian rug features an overall garden design with an emphasis on Zoroastrian numerology. Three sets of four intersecting lines sit at the foreground of the field. The four lines represent the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water. The number three is also significant in that it represents the three tenants of Zoroastrianism – think out of goodness, speak out of goodness, and act out of goodness.

Taking a closer look at the cross motif, an octagonal pool is revealed at the center of the Persian garden that is surrounded by the head of Ahura Mazda on each side. Ahura Mazda is the highest diety in Zoroastrianism.

The garden design reveals itself when looking at the details. The octagons at the center of the crosses represent the “hose,” or outdoor garden pool, that is the focal point of a traditional Persian home. Ahura Mazda, the highest deity in Zoroastrianism, is woven into the four cardinal directions around the “hose.” Stylized phoenixes and peacocks in hues of royal blue, citrus green, bright orange and cream flank either side of him. Furthermore, rows of colorful geometric flowers adorn the entire carpet. The bright colors in this Persian Zabol carpet make it truly unique because they are not easily achieved with vegetable dyes.

This vintage Persian Zabol carpet has  a border comprised of several narrow bands filled with various geometric floral motifs in green, white, fuchsia, blue, and red.

Another well-made design choice to note in this rug is the proportion of the border. With all the details, motifs, and bright colors, the rug still feels balanced. This is because of the wide multi-banded border. Each individual border is narrow but it comes together to create a thicker frame that anchors all of the activity in the center.

Visit Orley Shabahang‘s 1stdibs page to see this magnificent Persian Zabol alongside other contemporary, vintage, and antique carpets.