Silk Fragment with a Rosebush, Bird, and Deer Pattern

Object Name: Fragment

Date: late 17th–early 18th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Silk, silver- and gilded metal wrapped thread; compound twill weave, brocaded

Dimensions: Textile: H. 44 5/8 in. (113.3 cm)
W. 27 3/4 in. (70.5 cm)
Mount: H. 50 1/4 in. (127.6 cm)
W. 32 3/4 in. (83.2 cm)
D. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Wt. 34 lbs. (15.4 kg)

Classification: Textiles-Woven

Credit Line: Anonymous Gift, 1949

Accession Number: 49.32.99


Iranian silk production expanded markedly in the early seventeenth century, thanks to the patronage of Shah 'Abbas I. Silk was most intensively farmed in the Caspian Sea provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran and was woven all over Iran. Raw silk was also exported to Turkey, Russia, Central Asia, India, and Europe. The motifs of a rosebush, birds, and deer on this piece relate it to the popular group of bird and flower textiles in the seventeenth century, anticipating the fashion for bird and flower decoration in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The unnatural relationship of scale among the birds, deer, and flowers is most likely the artist’s interpretation.