Pear Design

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“Also known as the cone, the palm leaf, the river loop, the crown jewel, the seal, the almond, the feather, the boquet, and the flame. There is a vast difference of opinion as to the origin and meaning of this motif. Some authorities claim it was intended for the fir cone, which served as an emblem of immortality and was revered by the ancients; some say it was intended for the palm leaf, which has been handed down by the Greeks as a symbol of victory; others say it was intended to represent a loop which the river Indus makes on a vast plain in upper Cashmere as seen from the Mosque. By some it is said to represent the crown jewels or chief ornament in the old Iranian crown, which is a composite jewel of pear shape. Tradition tells us that the signing of documents in such a manner was a custom well known in the East. This design has also been called the almond, the feather, the bouquet, and the flame on account of its fancied resemblance to these objects. We have selected the name “pear” because the image it conveys is more clearly recognized by the western mind. It is that which its shape most suggests. The Pear design is common in many kinds of rugs, especially in those of Persia and Kurdistan, but it varies greatly in varieties of form and size. The large size is usually employed in the Caucasus and Southern Persia, while the small size is used more frequently in Central and Western Persia. In the Saraband, Shiraz, Herat, Khorasan, and Senna, it frequently covers the whole field. In the two former alternate rows usually have the stems of the pears turned in opposite directions, while in the three latter the stems are usually turned in the same direction.”


Oriental Rugs


G. Griffin Lewis The Practical Book of Oriental Rugs (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1913) 123


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