"Rabbit Like" Creatures From Persia

persian rabbit detail

Detail from a 13th century Kashan faience tile from an anonymous collection. 1.

The creature on the right is what I refer to as "rabbit like". I left the leopard in so that you may see that they are portrayed much larger than we would generally expect with conventional rabbit forms. It is also odd to see a rabbit stalking a leopard. While I am still not sure what they are meant to be I regularly see rabbit like creatures in Persian animal carpets that I do not normally see in Mughal or Turkish carpets. Since this tile is pre-Mongol invasion we may assume this design icon is an old or even indigenous design to Persia.

What makes this important is that it would seem that this is a design not used commonly in carpets from outside of Persia. As such it becomes a design attribution clue that I use to make an initial assessment when trying to assess the probable origins of a classic carpet. I find this works rather well with Turkish and Mughal carpets but as yet I have not studied it enough to assess it's potential utility with the assessment of classical Central Asian carpets.

1. Frierman, Jay D. Medieval Ceramics VI to XIII Centuries. (Los Angeles,Frederick S. Wight Gallery, University of California, 1975) p. 33 il. 29