Velvet with Figural Imagery

Object Name: Fragment

Date: mid-16th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Silk, metal wrapped thread; cut and voided velvet

Dimensions: Textile: L. 31 in. (78.7 cm)
W. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
Mount: L. 35 5/8 in. (90.5 cm)
W. 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm)
D. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952

Accession Number: 52.20.11


Textiles of the Safavid period demonstrate the technical mastery of the weavers as well as their strong dependence upon book illustration and illumination as a pattern source, at least in the products of court workshops. This example features a lattice pattern formed by staggered rows of lobed medallions. The princely pastime of falconry is the subject of the medallion scenes: the bird sits on her master's gloved hand while an attendant, holding a receptacle and a bag for the game, approaches. A duck flies away from the falconer. The background of these scenes was once covered with metal thread, now mostly worn.