Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragment of an Animal Carpet

Object Name:
late 16th century
Attributed to Northern India
Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Rug: L. 30 11/16 in. (78 cm) W. 21 7/16 in. (54.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1971
Accession Number:
Not on view
The theme of fantastic and grotesque animals was popular during the last quarter of sixteenth century in Mughal India. This carpet fragment of woolen pile on cotton warp and weft is one of the rarest types of Mughal carpets. A goat protrudes from the mouth of a lion while overlapping birds reciprocally face each other against a red colored background typical of Mughal carpets. The overall scheme is enigmatic with sparse foliage between the creatures. It seems to have been inspired by the Indian makara-torana an arch in which scrolls issue from the mouth of a hybrid elephant-headed crocodile.
Joseph V. McMullan, New York (by 1965–71; gifted to MMA)
McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J. Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965. no. 8, pp. 44-45, ill. pl. 8 (color).

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