Persian and Universal Rug Designs Part 2
Panelled garden- The field is divided into panels or compartments containing either individual motifs or identifiable segments of the overall scheme.
Sometimes 3 or 4 motifs are repeated in alternate panels across the field, and sometimes the same, or totally separate, motifs are used. Sophisticated versions may be found in a number of workshop items, particularly Kerman and Quoom, but perhaps its finest and most definitive expression is encountered in the more primitive rugs of the Bakhtiari tribe.
Aubusson and Savonnerie- Designs based on the opulent floral scheme of the 17th and 18th century French workshops of the same names.
These usually consist of large, naturalistic floral garlands or medallions set against an open or sparsely decorated field. Their influence can be seen in items from a number of weaving groups, but more faithful versions are now usually confined to Chinese rugs.
Shah Abbas- These designs derive their name from Shah Abbas, who was instrumental in stimulating the renaissance of Persian textiles art int he 16th and 17th centuries.
They consist of a series of slightly different palmettes and floral forms, and are found either in an allover format or in conjunction with central medallion. They are closely associated with the major workshop groups of central Persia, particularly Isfahan, Kashan, Meshed and Nain, but also feature strongly in items from those countries which specialize in copying Persian designs.
Prayer rugs- Preyer rugs have been used in Muslim countries for centuries, and are the religious experience of the Islamic world.
An orthodox Muslim is expected to pray 5 times a day on a ‘clean spot’ facing the holy city of Mecca, and a special rug is an extremely convenient way of ensuring that this directive is obeyed. In addition, the basic design of all prayer rugs reproduces the physical area of the mosque. In early mosques, the focal point for prayer was a sacred stone, which was set in a wall facing Mecca; it later became customary to enclose this stone within an arch-shaped niche known as mihrab, or prayer niche.