Carpet with Scrolling Vines and Blossoms

Object Name: Carpet

Date: ca. 1650

Geography: Made in Northern India or Pakistan, Kashmir or Lahore

Medium: Silk (warp and weft), pashmina wool (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: L. 163 3/4 in. (415.9 cm)
W. 66 in. (167.6 cm)
Diam. of tube 10 in. (25.4 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913

Accession Number: 14.40.725


The floral pattern and design of the field of this rug are related to carpets from Herat, which were the early models for Indian carpet production. The naturalistic, stemmed plants on the border, however, are the mark of a specifically Indian development. Jahangir had long encouraged the careful study of flora and fauna, and the arrival of European books of herbals further changed the depiction of flowers from the Persian style of endless scrolling vines. In Shah Jahan's time, to which this carpet is dated, the further development of the arrangement in neat rows appeared in all Indian media—manuscripts, architectural carving, textiles, and carpets.