Fantastic vintage rug from the village of Nahavond in the Hamadan District of central Iran.
With the shifting colors and wild imagery, the rug is reminiscent of a psychedelic painting; it includes facing pairs of red lions and an array of surreal bird figures.
Mint condition with excellent pile. The primary colors are dark blues, red, light blue, burnt orange, salmon, ivory, and a gray green. The dazzling motif includes a large dream-like central medallion and ivory cartouches in the wide border.
Natural wool on cotton warp. 1970s. Exact size is 9 ft. by 5 ft. 2 in.
Solid and perfectly suitable for a high foot traffic area of the house. Natural wool woven onto natural cotton.
The lions woven into the carpet are powerful symbols of Persia and Iran, and were used extensively throughout the 19th century. Often the lion is depicted with a rising sun behind it, and this symbolism dates back 2500 years to the religion of Mithra.
More information on the origins of the lion and sun icon in ancient Persia:
“The oldest surviving Lion and Sun emblem in its’ early form, date back to the reign of King Artaxerxes II (436-358 BCE). The Achaemenid seal depicting king Artaxerxes (a Mithraist), honouring Goddess Anahita who is riding on a lion and sun is rising from the lion’s back.
The lion motif dates from ancient times in Iran, and is found on innumerable objects of daily use such as seals, vessels, horse equipment, and weapons and in the decoration of palaces, tombs, and temples as far back as the 3rd millennium BCE. Lion has been one of the most persistent iconography in Iranian art and religion, albeit with changing connotations.
Since the ancient times lion motif has a long tradition in political iconography and has always been used for the glorification of imperial power with well-known occurrences in artistic enterprises related to strong monarchic territorial structures in Iran; In literature, art, stories, and the social-life of the Iranians, lions have always been the symbol of power, courage and greatness. Iranian Kings and noblemen have demonstrated their greatness and glory through illustrations of lions on coins and swords.
In ancient Iranian religion of Mithraism, lion was connected to the sun and to fire and was perceived as a moral cleansing and purifying force, and it was the Sun God Mithra’s ‘totem’ animal, just as in the Greco-Roman culture Athena’s animal was the owl and Artemis’ animal was the deer.”
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