Cotton (warp and weft), silk (weft and pile), metal-wrapped thread; asymmetrically knotted pile, brocaded
Rug: L. 161 in. (408.9 cm)
W. 68 1/2 in. (174 cm)
Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1950
Not on view
The field of this silk carpet is filled with flowers, leaves, and scrolling vines—all typical of Persian carpet design of this period, when the hunting and animal scenes popular the previous century fell out of favor. Polonaise carpets like this one 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, which were often produced in matching pairs, were created both for the local Iranian market and for presentation and sale to Europeans—including the Polish nobility, a fact which accounts for this type’s name.
John D. Rockefeller Jr., New York (by 1930–50; gifted to MMA)
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. 1, p. 3.
Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 19a, pp. 62, 103, ill. fig. 86 (b/w).