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Fragment of an Animal Carpet

Object Name:
Fragment
Date:
late 16th century
Geography:
Northern India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions:
Rug: L. 30 11/16 in. (78 cm) W. 21 7/16 in. (54.5 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1971
Accession Number:
1971.263.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
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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