Purchase, Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art and Josephine L. Berger-Nadler Gift, 2013
Not on view
This carpet is composed of two parts designed and woven to be sewn together. Each part is based on a symmetrical composition divided into seven sections which are linked together with alternating large red stripes and small stripes of white, light blue, light green, dark brown and ten colors. Each section includes a design of five succeeding rhomboid motifs, a larger, more complex one in the center with smaller, simpler ones above and below it. Parts of the rhomboids have been brocaded with thick dark brown wool and fine yellow silk. The use of different materials and techniques adds variety to the texture with some details in higher relief than others. The use of elaborate brocade technique and silk enhances the quality of the craftsmanship and the value of the kilim. Kilims like this one were produced in Ottoman urban weaving centers in North Africa and Greater Syria, where they were and still are used by wealthy people to decorate their private houses. It may once have decorated the floor or a couch in refined reception rooms such as The Met’s Damascus Room (#1970.170). The quality of the materials, the fineness of the weave and the brocaded details suggest a late 19th or early 20th century date and Aleppo or Damascus as the place of production, which both were important Ottoman provincial artistic centers of Syria.
[ Art market, Brimfield, MA , 2012; sold to Montigel]; Ulrike Montigel, San Francisco (2012); [ Thomas Murray, Mill Valley, CA , 2012–13; sold to MMA]