Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

'Chessboard' Carpet

Object Name:
late 16th–early 17th century
probably Syria
Animal hair (warp and pile), wool (weft); asymmetrically knotted pile
Rug: H. 73 1/2 in. (186.7 cm) W. 51 in. (129.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1969
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 458
The field of the so-called "Chessboard" carpet is usually applied on a vermillion ground and divided into rectangular compartments, each containing an eight-pointed star composed of an endless knot of interlaced bands. The stars are encircled by small abstract radiating trefoil ornaments resembling fleur-de-lys, cypresses, and rosettes. On the large border that frames the central compartments of this design, poly-lobed lozengelike medallions alternate with cartouches. Stylized fleur-de-lys fill these motifs as well as the blue-green background.
Joseph V. McMullan, New York (by 1960–69; gifted to MMA)
"The Joseph V. McMullan Collection." In Islamic Carpets. New York, 1970. no. 24.

McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J. Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965. no. 3, pp. 26-27, ill. pl. 3 (color).

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 96, pp. 183, 229, ill. fig. 157 (b/w).

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