The interlocking pattern of this silk panel features a popular bird-and-flower motif that alternates direction in each repeated row. The effect of achieving a borderless repeat is a challenge confronting textile designers in the planning phases of the design, and indicates great skill when executed as flawlessly as in this panel. Enhanced with foil-wrapped metal threads covering the ground cloth, bird-and-flower textiles produced in the seventeenth century feature a soft palette of pistachio green and safflower orange that was highly susceptible to fading. The overall shape of this piece indicates that it was used as a chasuble, a sleeveless Christian vestment, attesting to the popularity and status of this type of textile in Europe.
[ Adolph Loewi, Venice, until 1926; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Persian Silks of the Safavid Period," December 9, 2003–March 14, 2004, no catalogue.
Reath, Nancy Andrews, and Eleanor B. Sachs. Persian Textiles and Their Technique from the Sixth to the Eighteenth Centuries Including a System for General Textile Classification. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937. pp. 10, 28, 57, 78, ill. pl. 21 (b/w).
Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. ill. v. VI, pl. 1065.