Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile; H. 363 in. (922 cm), W. 134 in. (340.4 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.857)
The small scrolling-vine-and-blossom pattern of this carpet is repeated once in mirror image to fill the field width and six times in mirror reverse to complete the length. Its design places its production in the early part of the seventeenth century, when Indian carpet makers were working with patterns brought from Persia by emigré weavers. This particular type, with no figural imagery, replicates a series of rugs made in Herat. The elaborate interlocking design of its border closely follows those prototypes. The activity of royal carpet workshops is not as well documented during the reigns of Jahangir or Shah Jahan as it is under Akbar; that commercial houses were very productive at this time is however very clear. Members of the Dutch East India Company report trade with Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, and the first shipment of the British East India Company was of carpets from Lahore. Other foreign sources record that the city of Jaunpur traded with the Portuguese and note Bengal as a source for fine weaving.