What Makes a Chinese Rug Special?
Unique from other Oriental rug styles, Chinese rugs depict a wide variety of design motifs that hold special meaning for Chinese culture. China's design repertoires range from artistic disciples such as painting and poetry, to ancient Buddhist and Taoist symbolism, which provides the rugs with a deaf cultural connotation for buyers.
The motifs frequently used in rug design often carry very specific meanings that literally translate into well-known philosophical sayings, desirable personal qualities, or magic charms aimed at promoting important values of Chinese culture. For example, a rug meant to promote strength and affluence would feature an elephant surrounded by deer.
Chinese History in Words
Although it may seem natural to associate strength with an elephant, associating a deer with affluence is not a natural connection. The reasoning behind the many physical and emotional word connections that the Chinese have can be explained through the items' social and religious histories.
For example, the deer's connection to affluence stemmed from the history between upper class citizens and their pastimes. Typically, rich members of Chinese society hunted deer for sport. So, the deer earned its association with affluence over the course of history.
More than Just History
In other cases, phonetic associations between qualities and objects also influence the symbolic meaning of both items. When spoken, the characters for “stag” and “emolument” (which means profit for employment) are pronounced the same. This is the case for many different words and their symbolic meaning in Chinese culture.
• Vases are considered a symbol of peace.
• Tables signify tranquility.
• Ju-I Sceptre , which is used by the highest deity in heaven, is formed by a cloud. This cloud is depicted with a short tail in rugs and other items, and the Chinese accept it as a symbol of a wish, or hope that a wish you have will be fulfilled.
• Shou and Fu symbolize long life and good luck. These characters are most commonly referred to by the Chinese even though other characters represent the same qualities. They are most commonly used in rugs given during the Chinese New Year.
In the same way that pairing an elephant and a deer together in a rug depicts strength and affluence, a rug featuring a vase on a table paired with a ju'I sceptre can be translated to: “May you find peace and tranquility according to your wishes. ”
Other popular characters include the four gentlemanly accomplishments-lute (music), chessboard (chess), scrolls (painting and drawing), and books (poetry); animal, bird, and plant symbols; and Chinese medallions.
Chinese rugs are very popular and some of the mostought after rugs on the market due to their unique designs and interesting meanings. A Chinese rug can make a beautiful addition to any home, and it can brighten up any living space.