Carpet with Palm Trees, Ibexes, and Birds

Object Name: Carpet

Date: late 16th–early 17th century

Geography: Probably made in present-day Pakistan, Lahore

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

Dimensions: Rug: L. 328 in. (833.1 cm)
W. 108 in. (274.3 cm)
Wt. 132 lbs. (59.9 kg)
Storage Tube: L. 132 in. (335.3 cm)
Diam. 9 in. (22.9 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.858


This carpet, with its pictorial depiction of trees, birds, and animals, is conceived like a textile with a repeat design in which each unit reverses the direction of the preceding one. The ibexes, Chinese mythological beasts called qilins, and animals in combat, are derived from Safavid Persian art, as is the border design of cartouches and star-shaped medallions with cloud bands. The palm tree, however, is a very Indian feature, as is the generally naturalistic drawing of the flora and fauna and the bright red color of the field. The relationship to Persian carpet design dates this example to the early Mughal period, soon after the first carpet workshops were established by the emperor Akbar in Lahore, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri.