Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The 'Simonetti' Carpet

Object Name:
Carpet
Date:
ca. 1500
Geography:
Attributed to Egypt, probably Cairo
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Wool (warp, weft, and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions:
Rug: L. 353 in. (896.6 cm) W. 94 in. (238.8 cm) Tube: L. 106 in. (269.2 cm) Diam. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1970
Accession Number:
1970.105
Not on view
Named the "Simonetti" carpet after a former owner, this majestic weaving is among the most famous of all Mamluk carpets. One of the larger floor coverings of its type, this example has five medallions instead of the more customary one or three, and it displays a slightly brighter and more varied palette. Likely produced in Egypt under the Mamluk dynasty, such carpets are surprisingly rich in appearance
considering their relatively coarse weave and limited color range. The overall effect is that of a luminous mosaic.
Guidi da Faenza, Italy (until 1902); [ Attilio Simonetti, Rome, from at least 1910; cat., 1912, no. 167]; [ Giorgio Sangiorgi, Rome]; Luigi Pisa, Italy (in 1937; cat., 1937, no. 979); [ P. W. French and Company, New York , until 1970; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," November 21, 1981–January 10, 1982, suppl. #67.

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 97, pp. 154-155, 229, ill. fig. 181, (b/w; color).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 49 (color).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Notable Acquisitions 1965–1975 (1975). p. 137, ill. (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 61-63, ill. fig. 45 (color).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 319, ill. fig. 19 (color).

Berinstain, Valerie. Great Carpets of the World. New York: Vendome Press, 1996. p. 46, ill. pl. 46 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 116, pp. 7, 140, 168-169, ill. pp. 168-169.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 136-137, ill. (color).

Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 76-77, ill. figs. 61-62.



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