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Silk Animal Carpet

Object Name:
Carpet
Date:
second half 16th century
Geography:
Iran, probably Kashan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Silk (warp, weft, and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions:
Rug: L. 94 7/8 in. (241 cm) W. 70 1/16 in. (178 cm) Mount: L. 103 1/4 in. (262.3 cm) W. 78 in. (198.1 cm) D. 3 in. (7.6 cm) Wt. 206 lbs. (93.4 kg)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Accession Number:
14.40.721
  • Description

    This is one of a small group of carpets woven entirely of silk with approximately 800 knots per square inch, representing the highest level of production in sixteenth‑century Iran. In contrast to the other floral and geometric carpets in this group, this outstanding example displays a painterly approach, with images of animals in combat against a background of flowering plants. The range of animals includes lions, tigers, and rams, as well as spotted dragons and horned, deerlike beasts borrowed from Chinese art. Similar imagery appears on manuscript paintings and lacquer bookbindings produced at the same time.

  • Provenance

    Prince Princezza, Evora, Portugal; Edouard Chappey, Paris (until 1907; sale Galerie Georges Petit,Paris, June 5–7, 1907, lot 1912, sold to Altman); Benjamin Altman, New York (1907–d. 1913; bequeathed to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
446642

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