Rug with confronted animals, 14th century
Wool (warp, weft, and pile), symmetrically knotted pile; rug L. 65 in. (165.1 cm), W. 54 1/2 in. (138.4 cm)
Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, Louis V. Bell and Fletcher, Pfeiffer and Rogers Funds, 1990 (1990.61)
When this rug was discovered, its unusual field design—rows of animals within animals—was otherwise known only in a rug depicted in a Sienese painting of about 1410, The Marriage of the Virgin by Gregorio di Cecco di Luca (National Gallery, London). The pattern of the painted version, partially obscured by standing figures, was not comprehensible without the Metropolitan's rug. The field design probably derives from medieval textiles patterned with single or paired animals in compartments. This purchase, hailed in rug-collecting circles, brought to the Museum one of the best preserved, earliest Turkish carpets in the world. Only two other carpets of a similar date are known.