Vintage persian rugs are among the most sought-after area rugs in the world for their beauty, elegance and cultural / historical significance. This category of rug includes both antique rugs (rugs that are over 80 years old) as well as those woven more recently but with a much finer weave quality and / or stunning color designs that inspire an international following.
A vast array of motifs carry specific symbolism in antique Persian carpets, including stars that represent spirituality and good luck; peonies that symbolize power; lilies that stand for purity and spirituality; the famous boteh — also known as paisley — which represents flame and the universe; pomegranates that suggest fertility; and diamonds that signify wealth and prosperity. Additionally, the use of colors in antique Persian rugs is not only pleasing to the eye but can help decode where an area rug hails from, with blue indicating faith and spirituality; red representing love and joy; orange symbolizing humility and piety; green signifying life and hope.
In addition, antique rugs from major cities and towns like Esfahan are floral and intricate, while those woven in remote villages are generally more symmetrical. Also, antique rugs made with the symmetrical Turkish knot tend to be more regular in design while those woven using the asymmetrical Persian knot enable more fluid, curvilinear designs.