Silk (warp and weft), pashmina wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
L. 163 3/4 in. (415.9 cm)
W. 66 in. (167.6 cm)
Diam. of tube 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Not on view
The finest Indian carpets were made with a pile of pashmina wool and a foundation of silk, which allowed for hundreds of knots to be tied per square inch. Increasing the suppleness and softness of the carpet, the greater number of knots also increased the subtlety of the patterns that could be made on the carpet; here, a scrolling vine from which bloom palmettes, poppies, irises and serrated lancet leaves. Pashmina wool, the undercoat of the Himalayan mountain goat, was obtained from Kashmir (in northern India) and from western Tibet, from which imports were strictly regulated.
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. 305, ill. fig. 202 (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. 58, pp. 122, 130, ill. fig. 133 (b/w).
Walker, Daniel S. Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. pp. 81, 84-85, ill. figs. 80-81, (color).