Semi-Antique Ghoum Peacocks, circa 1950

5'4" x 3'7"

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Semi-Antique Ghoum Peacocks, circa 1950
Size in feet
5'4" x 3'7"
Size in meters
1.63 x 1.09
Pile (Fiber & Yarns)
100% Pure Silk
Type of fabrication
Type of knots
Origin country
Design origin
$ 7000
Special Price
$ 4850
Sizes are approximate. Photos are not necessarily exact for color.
New rugs are of the highest quality and are handpicked overseas by the Bashir Family
Semi Antique Persian semi-antique rug. Genuinely hand-knotted in Qum (north-central Persia) around 1950. It is in excellent condition. Certain things in this rug that lead us to believe it's in excellent condition is that it still has its original tassels on the fringes. Another thing we like to do when we're evaluating silk rugs, to get an idea of how good the condition is, is we want to check to see that the foundation of this is pliable and strong. So the way that you would normally do that is just to put some small folds into it and see if there's a good action. The test reveals that this carpet is in excellent condition. The foundation is very strong. This Qum rug is also extremely rich in symbolism. Symbolism in Persian rugs are passed down from generation to generation and were believed to protect the rug owners from misfortune.

One of the most interesting aspects of this semi-antique rug are the animals in it which date back to early classical hunting carpets. The most prominent symbols featured in its field are that of two large peacocks, both symbols of divine protection. The lavish large feathers of each one wrap around a giant lotus medallion representing rebirth and immortality. The field also includes a wide assortment of iris flowers which stand for religious liberty. The peonies are symbolic of rank and wealth. The leaves sprouting from arabesque vines represent endless regeneration.

Colors also play a major role in conveying the story of rugs. For instance, the coral rose color in this particular piece represents desire. Understanding how to "read" these symbols and patterns enables one to connect with the weaver's story, as well as community and society. At times, it can even provide historical insight and information on the best manner in which to showcase each work of art.

A Brief History of Ghoum Rugs & Carpets

Weaver diligently hand-knotting a Ghoum rug. The luxurious silk and wool rugs of Ghoum are known for their high quality and are regarded among the most expensive in the world.Ghoum rugs, also known as Ghoum, Gom, Qom, Qum, Qoum, Kum or Koum, are woven in workshops of Qom, a city located in northwest central Iran. Since rug production did not begin in Qom until the 1930s, Qom doesn't have any traditional designs of its own. Qom weavers prefer to weave the most favorable designs of other Persian weaving groups and sometimes Caucasian weaving groups and adjusting these designs to their own taste. It is possible for Qom rugs to be mistaken with Kashan or Esfahan rugs. However, they will not be mistaken with Tabriz rugs because Qum, Kashan and Esfahan rugs are woven with the asymmetric (Persian) knot and Tabriz rugs are woven with the symmetric (Turkish) knot.

All silk, part silk/part wool, and kork (fine wool taken from the belly of sheep) Qom rugs are very well-known in Iran and abroad. The foundation of Ghoum rugs could be either cotton or silk. Most Ghoum rugs have curvilinear patterns and very elaborate floral motifs with intricate leaves and vines. As mentioned above the designs are varied, taken from different weaving groups. Some designs used in Ghoum rugs consist of vase, moharramaat, mir-i-boteh, zell-i sultan, panelled garden, hunting, tree-of-life, pictorial, Shah Abbassi medallion-and-corner with usually a circular medallion, all-over Shah Abbasi, medallion with open field, medallions resembling the famous Esfahan Sheikh Lotfollah medallion, prayer and all-over gul farangi (roses).

The gul farangi motif seems to be a popular motif also used in vase, tree-of-life, and zell-i sultan designs. A panelled design containing very different motifs in each compartment is also common; the motifs inside the compartments can consist of pictorials, vases, hunting scenes, and botehs all in one rug.

The colors used in Ghoum rugs are as diverse as the designs. The overall appearance could either be pale with background and border colors such as ivory, champagne, turquoise and light green, or it could be dark with background colors such as dark blue and even sometimes red. Red, blue and green are also used as motif colors. Other commonly used colors in Ghoum rugs are mushroom, rose, gold, yellow ocher and orange ocher. To learn more about iranian rugs, please visit our Persian Rugs section.

Sources and inspiration: Bérinstain, Valérie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Mengès, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.

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