Silk Kashan Carpet, Silk (warp, weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile

Silk Kashan Carpet

Object Name:
16th century
Made in Iran, probably Kashan
Silk (warp, weft and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Rug: H. 98 1/16 in. (249 cm)
W. 67 5/16 in. (171 cm)
Mount: H. 106 1/2 in. (270.5 cm)
W. 75 1/4 in. (191.1 cm)
D. 3 in. (7.6 cm)
Object not yet weighed. Test lifted, Estimated weight 200lbs.
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Douglas M. Moffat, 1958
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This carpet is one of a small group of luxurious weavings notable for their extremely high knot density and entirely silk construction. While their appearance and feel is akin to velvet, the pattern is created by row upon row of minute, hand-tied knots of fine silk thread. Only about twenty carpets of this type are known to survive, four of which are in the Museum's collection. They are referred to as silk Kashan carpets, after a city in Iran where silk carpets are said to have been produced as early as the sixteenth century. The designs of these carpets, however, have been likened to works produced in the contemporary Safavid capital of Tabriz, suggesting a connection between Kashan and the royal design workshops of Tabriz.
John Taylor Johnston, New York; Mrs. Douglas M. Moffat, New York (until 1958; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Four Silk Kashan Rugs," August 2, 1994–February 5, 1994, no catalogue.

New York. Asia Society. "Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran," October 16, 2003–January 18, 2004, not in catalogue.

Erdmann, Kurt. Seven Hundred Years of Oriental Carpets, edited by Hanna Erdmann. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970. p. 63, ill. fig. 65 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 16, pp. 58, 102, ill. fig. 82 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 95, pp. 228-229, ill. p. 229 (color).