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Polonaise Carpet

Object Name:
Carpet
Date:
17th century
Geography:
Iran, Isfahan or Kashan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Cotton (warp and weft), silk (weft and pile), metal wrapped thread; asymmetrically knotted pile, brocaded
Dimensions:
Rug: H. 160 in. (406.4 cm) W. 69 5/8 in. (176.8 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1950
Accession Number:
50.190.1
  • Description

    This carpet, one of a matching pair, belongs to a type known as "Polonaise," noted for its silk pile, pastel color palette, and extensive use of gold- and silver-metal-wrapped thread. The designation "Polonaise" reflects the (incorrect) nineteenth-century belief that carpets of this type were from Poland, a notion derived from the presence of similar carpets bearing European coats of arms. In fact, these carpets were made in Iran and shipped abroad in large numbers. Many were also brought to Europe by Persian embassies as gifts from the shahs, and some were commissioned in Iran by visiting Europeans. Though Polonaise carpets are relatively common, the design of overlapping cartouches seen here is rare.

  • Provenance

    Marchioness of Graham, Easton Park, Wickham Market, England ; John D. Rockefeller Jr., New York (by 1930–50; gifted to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451024:22

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