Lion and Sun Motif in an Unimaginable Place

Qajar Period, Persia
Date: Early 20th century
Location: Ardakan, Yazd, Iran.
Sources: [1],[2]
 خیمه تکه‌ دوزی تاریخی محله چرخاب یزد - دوره قاجار

The Lion and Sun motif in this picture is a part of a large fabric that is used as a tent. The tent has been used for religious ceremonies for more that 113 years in Ardakan, Yazd. Recently, there were reports that the integrity of this textile is deteriorating.

The Lion and Sun is among the most important motives that has politically represented the state of Persia. The origin of this motif is unknown, but it has been in widespread use in the region by dynasties that were connected to Persian culture. During the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, this sign was used to mint coins. It was later adapted in the flags and standards in Iran. The Mughal Emperors of India also used this motif on their flag. The earlier models didn't have a sward. It is believed that the sward was added by Qajars in 19th century. The motif did also have religious significance to the extent that it was used in mosques' tiles in Iran and Central Asia.