'Chessboard' Carpet

Object Name: Carpet

Date: late 16th–early 17th century

Geography: probably Syria

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Animal hair (warp and pile), wool (weft); asymmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: Rug: H. 73 1/2 in. (186.7 cm)
W. 51 in. (129.5 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1969

Accession Number: 69.267


With a repeating pattern of eight-pointed strapwork stars, and an unusual texture and weave, Syrian carpets such as this were exported to Europe, where they were occasionally depicted by Dutch painters. A feature common to all of these carpets, which appear to be commercial products, is that the corners of the borders are invariably carefully articulated, even at the expense of cutting off motifs in the field.