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Tent panel

Tent panel

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1830-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    woollen yarn, silk thread, metal thread, weaving, patchwork, embroidering, sewing.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case ww7

Physical description

Resht work, plain weave felted wool, patchwork, inlaid work, embroidered with silk in a variety of stitches predominantly chain stitch with some details in straight stitches and couched metal thread. Note: researchers may use the terms applique and tambour when searching for this category of textile even though they are incorrect.
Pieced and embroidered over the seams. Cream/white ground, a large motif of two conjoined peacocks [there are scalloped feather or peacock eyes on the body] terminating in an upward vertical trefoiled stalk is worked in laid and couched metal thread over cotton padding with straight stitched details [eg. The 'eyes' of the feathers] in green and coral pink - now both faded and some light blue. The composite motif is edged with dark blue resht work and outlined with green and coral red, now both faded, cord.
A meandering embroidered stem emerges from each bird's back, splitting into a number of branches. One curving around and down the side of the bird while the main stems form two irregular stems criss-crossing each other. These hold multi-coloured blossoms and buds and blue and black leaves. A crested bird perches on the side branches.

The outlines are worked in either metal thread laid in a cord of four threads Z-twisted or a cord of two red silk and silver Z-twisted threads.
Embroidery thread: 2S; yellow, red[ faded to pink], white, black, grey, cream, light blue, blue, pink, red, beig
e and light green.
Metal thread: silver and silver-gilt strip close S-wound on a white silk core. The thread used for couching is 2S cream and grey silk. Inserts: yellow, two mid-blues, dark blue, light brown, white, two shades of light green, black, red, purple and pink.

See also 787-1899 which is probably the top part of this panel. A section of about 22 cm would complete the panel.
A similar panel is incorporated into an early 19th century tent sold at Sotheby's in April 1991 and now in a private collection. See Hali issue 59 October 1991 p.118.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


1830-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

woollen yarn, silk thread, metal thread, weaving, patchwork, embroidering, sewing.


Length: 63.5 cm, Width: 43 cm, Length: 69 cm Mounting board, Width: 49 cm Mounting board

Object history note

Bought for £1.2s-6d 'cover, whitish cloth... Resht' from Messrs Howell and James, 5-9 Regent Street, London SW.
RPS. 8444-1892

Descriptive line

Middle East, Textile; Tent panel fragment, felted wool patchwork or Resht work, Rasht, Qajar Iran, 1830-1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Published in 'Iranian Textiles' by Jennifer Wearden and Patricia L Baker (V&A Publishing, 2010) Plate 80.

Labels and date

Jameel Gallery

Part of a Tent Wall

Iranian rulers used magnificent tents on campaign and during peacetime excursions. Tent walls were divided into panels, with designs of flowering stems. In this example, the stems grow from a metal vessel, worked in silver thread.

Patchwork of felted wool, with silk embroidery and couched metal thread.
Museum no. 858-1892


Middle East Section

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