I recently received and email from a couple that had been given a Qashqai tribal rug as a gift for their engagement. They had been in possession of the rug for only a week but were fully enamored with the endless details of the drawing and color combinations.
The email read, "My wife and I were wondering if you could take a few minutes to look over our rug. We have been progressively interested in the "behind the scenes" knowledge of Persian rugs and have been spending quite a bit of our free time researching the web to get as much information as possible. That is where we came across your excellent web site! We only know it is a Kashghai. We found it incredibly entertaining to look at and it has added some magic to our house for sure! We were not able to figure out the meaning of the main central symbol. Also, on one side of the rug there are some numbers? The other thing is that our rug does not have a standard border configuration Is it that unusual? We would be very grateful for any feedback you might be able to give us about our Persian rug."
My response is below.
The design element in the main central medallion and each of the 4 corners of this rug, where it is repeated, represents a scarab beetle. I do see two small borders on the right and left sides of the rug which are smaller than usual but design wise very well done. One of the borders is continued at the top and bottom of the rug. The line going up the middle of the rug with simple branches leading to and away from the medallion is a simple rendition of the Tree of Life. The numbers you are actually seeing are S's. A bit messy but none-the-less a frequent symbol used in Southern Persian tribal rugs. They each represent dragons. The design (drawing), colors and wool all look very good from what I can see in your photos. My best guess is that some of the dyes in this piece are from natural sources but a few of the colors, such as the orange may be from chrome dyes. Overall, you have a very nice rug! Here is link that may be of assistance to you with more info on rug symbols. http://www.arastan.com/journey/carpet-motifs-beginners-guide
Hope that helps.
Thank you so much for your feedback and explanations on your rug! We appreciated it. Please feel free to use our pictures and email request on your blog. We are based in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK!
Paolo and Ilaria :)
PS The link sent is very interesting, thanks!