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'Polonaise' Carpet

Object Name:
Carpet
Date:
first half 17th century
Geography:
Iran, probably Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Cotton (warp and weft), silk (weft and pile), metal-wrapped thread; asymmetrically knotted pile, brocaded
Dimensions:
Rug: L. 161 in. (408.9 cm) W. 68 1/2 in. (174 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1950
Accession Number:
50.190.3
  • Description

    The field of this silk carpet is filled with flowers, leaves, and scrolling vines—all typical of Persian carpet design of this period, when the hunting and animal scenes popular the previous century fell out of favor. Polonaise carpets like this one are noted for their extensive use of silk and metal-wrapped silk thread. The somewhat muted colors are due to the silk pile; though valued for its strength and softness, silk does not hold dye as well as wool and its color quickly fades. Polonaise carpets, which were often produced in matching pairs, were created both for the local Iranian market and for presentation and sale to Europeans—including the Polish nobility, a fact which accounts for this type’s name.

  • Provenance

    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
451026:4

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