Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The 'Nigde' Carpet

Object Name:
18th century
Made in Northwestern Iran, probably
Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Rug: H. 298 in. (755.7 cm) W. 121 1/2 in. (308.6 cm) Tube: H. 128 in. (325.1 cm) W. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1956
Accession Number:
Not on view
The so-called "Nigde Carpet," one of the most famous Islamic carpets, was allegedly discovered in a mosque in the central Anatolian city of Nigde but was probably produced in northwest Iran or Transcaucasia. The origins of its design are indisputably Iranian, as is its overall layout of ogival forms. The composition may have been inspired by a silk textile layout, possibly filtered through the production of the ogival-layout rugs woven in the so-called "vase carpet technique" in Kirman in the seventeenth century. Although mutated into angular and geometric forms, the basic design elements of sinuous Chinese cloud-bands, lotus-flower palmettes, and curved leaves, all part of the rich vocabulary of Safavid carpets, are clearly identifiable in this carpet.
Mosque of Nigde, Turkey(until ca. 1908); William T. Dewart, New York ( by 1941–47; sold to McMullan); Joseph V. McMullan, New York (1947–56; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Carpets: The Joseph V. McMullan Collection," June 11, 1970–August 2, 1970, no. 53.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 319, in Dewart Collection.

"Catalogue of an exhibition held at the] Hayward Gallery, London, 19 October–10 December 1972." In Islamic Carpets from the Joseph V. McMullan Collection. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1972. no. 41, p. 43, ill. pl. XIV (color).

McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J. Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965. no. 41, pp. 164-171, ill. pl. 41 (color).

Schurmann, Ulrich. "The Joseph V. McMullan Collection. New York." In Islamische Teppiche. Frankfurt: Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt, 1968. no. 25, pp. 58-59, ill. p. 59 (b/w).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Carpets. The Joseph V. McMullan Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 28, no. 10 (1970). p. 415, ill. cover (color).

"The Joseph V. McMullan Collection." In Islamic Carpets. New York, 1970. no. 53.

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 164, pp. 162-163, 279, ill. fig. 231, (b/w; color).

Farnham, Thomas J. "The Pioneers." Hali Carpet, Textile and Islamic Art (2008). pp. 60-61, ill. (color).

Thompson, Jon. "Exotic Textiles from New York Collectors." In Timbuktu to Tibet. New York, 2008. pp. 14-15, 302-303, ill. fig. 1.1 (color), pl. 107 (color).

Related Objects

The Anhalt Medallion Carpet

Date: probably first half 16th century Medium: Cotton (warp), silk (weft), wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile Accession: 46.128 On view in:Gallery 462

Silk Kashan Carpet

Date: 16th century Medium: Silk (warp, weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile Accession: 58.46 On view in:Gallery 455

Garden Carpet

Date: second half 18th century Medium: Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile Accession: 22.100.128 On view in:Gallery 462

Vase-technique Carpet with Overlapping Cartouches

Date: 17th century Medium: Cotton (warp), silk (weft), wool (weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile Accession: 56.185.1 On view in:Gallery 462

Vase Carpet

Date: 17th century Medium: Cotton (warp), silk (weft), wool (weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile Accession: 1970.302.2 On view in:Gallery 462