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Velvet Fragment with Bird and Flower Design

Object Name:
Fragment
Date:
second half 16th century
Geography:
Iran, Kashan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Silk; cut and voided velvet, with continuous floats of flat metal thread
Dimensions:
Textile: H. 21 7/16 in. (54.5 cm) W. 13 3/8 in. (33.9 cm) Mount: H. 26 1/2 in. (67.3 cm) W. 18 in. (45.7 cm) D. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1972
Accession Number:
1972.26
Not on view
Among the finest examples of silk velvet in the collection, this fragment is one of a small group of surviving textiles sharing a similar weave structure. While much of this piece appears today as beige, originally the colorful and intricate design floated against a shimmering surface of gold, the background completely covered with flat gilded metal threads, some of which are still visible. Such fabrics were referred to as "gold velvet" by European visitors to the Safavid court. With its finely drawn design, multihued palette, and lavish threads, this textile was one of the most luxurious produced in its day.
Dikran G. Kelekian, New York (by 1944–d. 1951); [ Charles Dikran Kelekian, New York, 1951–72; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A King's Book of Kings: Persian Miniatures from Shah Tahmasp's Shahnama of 1528," May 4, 1972–December 31, 1972.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Persian Silks of the Safavid Period," December 9, 2003–March 14, 2004.

Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. v. III, p. 2092, ill. fig. 677, drawing of the motif.

2000 Years of Silk Weaving. Los Angeles: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1944. no. 240, p. 32, ill. pl. 58.

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 173, pp. 249-250, ill. p. 249 (color).



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