Silk (warp, weft, and pile), metal wrapped thread; asymmetrically knotted pile
Mount Dimensions: L. 105 1/2 in. (268 cm)
W. 76 1/2 in. (194.3 cm)
Weight in mount: 555 lbs (251.7 kg)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Not on view
This carpet, possibly woven in the silk trade and carpet manufacturing center of Kashan, has a dark blue quatrefoil medallion at its center. Decorative elements on this and other related carpets from Kashan and Tabriz indicate that weavers may have used pattern books containing popular motifs to guide them in production. These designs are also present in other media, particularly in the arts of the book. The use of metal-wrapped thread in a silk Kashani carpet of this size is unusual, but the high knot count of about 600 knots per inch may have made this expensive material worth its cost given the fine quality of the work.
Benjamin Altman, New York (until d. 1913; bequeathed to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 291, ill. fig. 193 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 14, pp. 56, 102, ill. fig. 80 (b/w).
Ellis, Charles. Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1988. p. 178.
Ferrier, Ronald W., ed. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. p. 122, ill. pl. 8 (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 183, pp. 4, 263-264, ill. p. 264 (color).