Silk Fragment with a Rosebush, Bird, and Deer Pattern
late 17th–early 18th century
Silk, silver- and gilded metal wrapped thread; compound twill weave, brocaded
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)
Anonymous Gift, 1949
Not on view
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.
Private collection(by 1935–49; gifted to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. A Guide to an Exhibition of Oriental Rugs and Textiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1935. p. 30, ill. fig. 22 (b/w).
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.
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. 176, p. 252-253, ill. p. 252 (color).
Peck, Amelia, ed. "The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800." In Interwoven Globe. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. no. 93A, pp. 258-259, ill. pl. 93A (color).