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


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.