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Spandrels in Oriental Rugs and Persian Carpets


spandrels have a long history in architectural structures throughout the world.  They provide decorative appeal, sometimes even cultural significance, and structural rigidity.  Aesthetically, the framing of an object or entry with spandrels may add emphasis to the importance of such structures, art and the meaning behind.  In addition to the artistic value, perhaps the most widely understood implimentation may be the reinforcement of strength in architectural creations such as bridges, doorways, and other.  

The classic imagery of a Persian or oriental rug often includes the following working from outside in: a minor border, a major border, an additional minor border.  A center field perhaps with a venter medallion, and often featuring spandrels wrapping each of the four corners of the field. Whether the design is rectlinear, curvlinear or other, one thing remains constant: These spandrels often add emphasis to the strength of a carpet, framing the field perhaps adding a greater dimension to the appeal of the weave itself.

Below: Lot 424 Fine Silk Persian antique heriz Sotheby's April 10 & 11, 1981. New York.

Antique Silk Heriz Rug with allover field

Spandrels in each corner of the field of an antique Persian Rug

If "spandrels-like" designs are found only in two of the four corners of a field, it may be considered a "merab," which often frames on end of a prayer rug, meditation rug, column rug, or "tree of life" design rug/carpet.


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