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Art/ Collection/ Art Object


16th century
Attributed to Northwestern Iran
Cotton (warp and weft), wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Rug: L. 338 in. (858.5 cm) W. 128 in. (325.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph V. McMullan, 1964
Accession Number:
Not on view

No Persian carpet at any known period nor from any other area exhibits the severe austerity of this particular type from the Northwest.

The deeply indented stellate central medallion is the base from which springs at each end first an oblong cartouche and finally a medallion pendant. These dominate the scroll system of arabesque stems and blossoms arranged in a method easily traced and easily followed contributing to the basic austerity. The field is relieved by four-lobed corner pieces of a design different from the central medallion, consisting of two asymmetrical cloud bands and small blossoms. The border design is equally austere, displaying interlocking, rigidly drawn meanders; one system contains nothing but small blossoms, the other is similar and has large palmettes.

[Arts Council 1972]
Stefano Bardini, Florence (before 1904); Charles Tyson Yerkes, New York (in 1904); [ Jacques Seligman, Paris, in 1922]; Joseph V. McMullan, New York (by 1960–64; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Carpets: The Joseph V. McMullan Collection," June 11, 1970–August 2, 1970, no. 73.

"Catalogue of an exhibition held at the] Hayward Gallery, London, 19 October–10 December 1972." In Islamic Carpets from the Joseph V. McMullan Collection. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1972. no. 11, p. 36, ill. pl. VII (color).

McMullan, Joseph V., and Ernst J. Grube. Islamic Carpets. New York: Near Eastern Art Research Center, 1965. no. 11, pp. 56-63, ill. pl. 11 (color).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Carpets. The Joseph V. McMullan Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 28, no. 10 (1970). pp. 409, 410, ill. p. 410 (color).

"The Joseph V. McMullan Collection." In Islamic Carpets. New York, 1970. no. 73.

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 4, p. 97, ill. p. 97 (b/w).

Bier, Carol, ed. "Textile Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran 16th–19th Centuries." In Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart. Washington, D.C.: Textile Museum, 1987. p. 99, ill. fig. 1c.

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