(Posted on 29/04/14)
Herati: The herati design derives its name from the town of Herat (part of Persia until the last century, but now in Afghanistan), where it is said to have originated. It is composed of a single floral head within a diamond framework flanked by four outwardly curling leaves. It is sometimes referred to as the mahi or 'fish-in-the-pond' design (mahi being the Persian word for fish), because many traditional sources have cited this as its symbolic origin. In Persian mythology the world was supported by four swimming fish. It is so dominated the compositions of this Persian town. Although there are numerous interpretations of the basic herati form, it is usually employed in either an allover or medallion-and-corner format. In this latter scheme, the field is always herati, but the medallion may be either floral or skeletal, which allows the herati patterning to extend through the medallion to create the impression of an allover scheme on a variegated ground. Herati-design rugs are made by numerous workshop, village and nomadic groups throughout Persia, but are most closely associated with from Khorassan, Kurdistan, Ferahan, Hamadan and Tabriz. This design is rarely found outside Persia, although India now produces rugs in traditional Persian herati schemes.