Antique rugs, like the one shown here, bring an elegant, exotic touch to any room. They’re also a great investment, often increasing in value over time. They can even become family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation.
Aside from their aesthetics, the most coveted vintage persian rugs are cherished for their cultural significance. Many antique rugs are infused with meaning through the use of symbols, motifs and signs that can be decoded to tell a story.
For example, the famous Herati pattern resembles the mirrored image of stars in the sky, a motif that signifies eternal regeneration and the universe. The pomegranate motif, which is often seen as the main medallion of a rug, symbolizes fertility. And the peony motif represents power and femininity. These motifs, when used together, tell the story of a particular region or civilization.
As a general rule, antique persian rugs were made with all-natural materials such as wool, cotton and silk, along with natural plant or mineral dyes. Compared to modern synthetic rugs, their colors are more subtle and harmonious, and they’re more durable.
Additionally, most antique Persian rugs were hand-knotted, unlike regular carpets which are generally machine-made. To identify a rug as a hand-knotted, look for knots that are uneven and irregularly placed on the surface of the rug. Another sign is that the back of a vintage persian rug will be sloppy and have loose threads, as opposed to perfect and neat on both sides of a machine-made rug.