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The Czartoryski Carpet

Object Name:
Carpet
Date:
17th century
Geography:
Iran, probably Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Cotton (warp), silk (weft and pile), metal wrapped thread; asymmetrically knotted pile, brocaded
Dimensions:
Rug: H. 191 1/2 in. (486.4 cm) W. 85 5/8 in. (217.5 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, by exchange, 1945
Accession Number:
45.106
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
The coat of arms on this carpet (in the center and at each end) was mistakenly understood to belong to the Polish Czartoryski family; consequently, the term "Polonaise" was applied to this carpet and others like it. The field is filled with flowers, leaves, and scrolling vines, all typical of Persian carpet design of this period. Polonaise carpets are noted for their extensive use of silk and metal-wrapped silk thread. The somewhat muted colors are due to the silk pile; though valued for its strength and softness, silk does not hold dye as well as wool and its color quickly fades. Polonaise carpets were created both for the local Iranian market and for presentation and sale to Europeans.
Prince Wladyslaw Czartoryski, Krakow, Poland(in 1878); [ Mr. Larcade, Paris, until 1927; sold to Rockefeller]; John D. Rockefeller Jr., New York (1927–45; gifted to MMA)
Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 88-89, ill. figs. 75-76.

Dimand, Maurice S. "New York June 10–September 21, 1930." In Loan Exhibition of Persian Rugs of the So-Called Polish Type. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. no. 6, p. 5.

Dimand, Maurice S. "The seventeenth century Isfahan school of rug weaving." In Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Richard Ettinghausen. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 258, ill. fig. 4 (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. 17, pp. 61, 103, ill. fig. 84 (b/w).

Berinstain, Valerie. Great Carpets of the World. New York: Vendome Press, 1996. p. 148, ill. pl. 119 (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. 186, pp. 173, 267, ill. p. 267 (color).



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