The Seley Carpet

Object Name: Carpet

Date: late 16th century

Geography: Made in Iran

Medium: Silk (warp), cotton (weft), wool (weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: Rug: L. 280 in. (711.2 cm)
W. 121 in. (307.3 cm)
Tube: L. 157 in. (398.8 cm)
Diam. 21 in. (53.3cm)
Wt. 86 lbs. (39 kg) (carpet was weighed with 120 lb. tube at 204 lbs.)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Presented in memory of Richard Ettinghausen, Gift of Louis E., Theresa S., Hervey, and Elliot Jay Seley, and Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick and Fletcher Funds, 1978

Accession Number: 1978.550


This is one of the finest Persian carpets known, produced at a time when the art of carpet weaving had achieved its greatest heights under the patronage of the Safavid shahs in the sixteenth century. Striking in the harmony of its pattern and color, this carpet combines the medallion scheme adapted from bookbindings with a field composed of a well-planned system of floral forms on scrolling vines and floating cloud bands of Chinese derivation.