Velvet Panel with Flowering Plants

Object Name: Fragment

Date: first half 17th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Silk, cotton, flat metal thread; cut and voided velvet, brocaded

Dimensions: Textile: H. 45 in. (114.3 cm)
W. 27 in. (68.6 cm)
Mount: H. 52 in. (132.1 cm)
W. 32 1/2 in. (82.6 cm)
Wt. 30 lbs. (13.6 kg)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1912

Accession Number: 12.72.5


This type of large-scale floral velvet was most likely intended for use as household furnishing. The individual motifs feature stylized flora framed by foliage, emulating the saz leaf style made popular by black pen drawings. The repeat is artfully arranged within rows of fantastic flowering plants to create the effect of a seamless pattern. Safavid velvets were among the most expensive fabrics sold on the international market during the seventeenth century and exemplify a preference for luxury and opulence.