The 'Simonetti' Carpet

Object Name: Carpet

Date: ca. 1500

Geography: Attributed to Egypt, probably Cairo

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


This majestic weaving, named for a former owner, is one of the most famous of all Mamluk carpets. It has five medallions instead of the more customary one or three, and a slightly brighter, more varied palette than is usual for its type. Mamluk carpets are surprisingly rich in appearance considering the relatively coarse weave and limited color range. The overall effect is that of a shimmering mosaic.