The 'Nigde' Carpet

Not on view

The so-called "Nigde Carpet," one of the most famous Islamic carpets, was allegedly discovered in a mosque in the central Anatolian city of Nigde but was probably produced in northwest Iran or Transcaucasia. The origins of its design are indisputably Iranian, as is its overall layout of ogival forms. The composition may have been inspired by a silk textile layout, possibly filtered through the production of the ogival-layout rugs woven in the so-called "vase carpet technique" in Kirman in the seventeenth century. Although mutated into angular and geometric forms, the basic design elements of sinuous Chinese cloud-bands, lotus-flower palmettes, and curved leaves, all part of the rich vocabulary of Safavid carpets, are clearly identifiable in this carpet.

The 'Nigde' Carpet, Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); symmetrically knotted pile

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