Velvet with Figural Imagery, Silk, metal wrapped thread; cut and voided velvet

Velvet with Figural Imagery

Object Name:
mid-16th century
Attributed to Iran
Silk, metal wrapped thread; cut and voided velvet
Textile: L. 31 in. (78.7 cm)
W. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
Mount: L. 35 5/8 in. (90.5 cm)
W. 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm)
D. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952
Accession Number:
Not on view
Textiles of the Safavid period demonstrate the technical mastery of the weavers as well as their strong dependence upon book illustration and illumination as a pattern source, at least in the products of court workshops. This example features a lattice pattern formed by staggered rows of lobed medallions. The princely pastime of falconry is the subject of the medallion scenes: the bird sits on her master's gloved hand while an attendant, holding a receptacle and a bag for the game, approaches. A duck flies away from the falconer. The background of these scenes was once covered with metal thread, now mostly worn.
Dikran G. Kelekian, New York (until d. 1951; his estate, New York, 1951–52;sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Persian Silks of the Safavid Period," December 9, 2003–March 14, 2004, no catalogue.

Thompson, Jon, and Sheila R. Canby, ed. "Court Arts of Safavid Iran 1501–1576." In Hunt for Paradise. Milan; New York: Skira , 2003. p. 289, ill. fig. 12.14, Cleveland Museum of Art fragment exhibited.