In addition to yellow-on-white Bengali embroideries made for export were Indian polychrome examples made for Europeans. A 1614 sale in England included "a carpet or quilt embroidered upon calico with sundry silks." Calico, which in the period could denote an Indian all-cotton fabric that was either plain white or patterned, originated in Calicut by the eleventh century. The word "carpet" could signify decorative covers for a variety of furniture types—not necessarily floors. The maker of this English bedspread borrowed from earlier Persian and Turkish pile carpet compositions, with a center medallion and quarter medallions in the corners around the central field.
Artist: Possibly after a design by Charles Le Brun (French, Paris 1619–1690 Paris)Date: ca. 1683Medium: Canvas; silk, wool, and metal-thread embroidery in tent stitch (316 stitches per sq. inch, 49 per sq. cm.)Accession: 46.43.1On view in:Gallery 531